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“I ​meant this to be just a short little thank-you note—-but when I get started I seem to have a ready pen.”

One of the great novels of American girlhood, Jean Webster’s Daddy-Long-Legs (1912) chronicles the adventures of Judy Abbott, a high-spirited orphan beginning a new life as a college student and aspiring writer, through her letters to her anonymous male benefactor. Its sequel, Dear Enemy (1915), also told in letters, follows the progress of Judy’s former orphanage now run by her idealistic, reform-minded friend Sallie McBride.

Elaine Showalter’s Introduction shows how the novels’ irrepressible female characters recall Alcott’s Jo March and anticipate the heroines of contemporary popular literature. Enhanced by the author’s original line drawings, Webster’s novels are witty, heartfelt and delightfully modern.

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