The Adventures of Madalene and Louisa

Here is a fun find that's full of mommy connections of the CM kind.  This book is just strange, charming, and full of whimsy.The Adventures of Madalene and Louisa is a delightful collection of quirky drawings by two Victorian girls, Madalene and Louisa Pasley while they were between the ages of 12 and 16 (during the 1850s).  It begins with this - "When we were young my sister Madalene and I preferred chasing beetles and butterflies to lessons in the schoolroom."  -and we are immediately hooked! They portray themselves as Victorian spinsters (?), drawing pictures of their adventures with giant insects and difficult tutors who failed to understand their interest in entomology and lack of interest in arithmetic.

Many of their escapades take place at their summer home in Lake Windermere, which is in the Lake District and where Charlotte Mason ran her House of Education a few decades later.  My, but that area certainly inspires some serious nature notebooking!

The postscript tells us that Madalene married Sir Henry Jenkins and that she founded and edited the "Mothers Union Journal".  The little bit of research I did connected Mrs. Francis Steinthal with the Mothers Union and Mrs. Steinthal helped bring Mason's methods to Council Schools.  So, did Madalene (1848-1939)  know about CM?  I wonder...

From joy to joy,

Here's a link to more information about the girls and their art - BBC.


  1. Thank you for your careful research! I love the connections you uncovered!

  2. You find the most interesting books! Thanks for the post.

  3. yay! and i like the image you posted. i found a grasshopper almost that big... ;)

  4. Fascinating! I love the fact that a childhood love can become so special to so many others through a book! My youngest would be inspired!