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The Young Visiters or Mr Salteena's Plan is a comic masterpiece that has delighted generations of readers since it was first published in 1919. A classic story of life and love in later Victorian England as seen from the nursery window, it was written in 1890 by nine-year-old Daisy Ashford. It all starts when Alfred Salteena, who is 'not quite the right side of the blanket', takes young Ethel Montacue to stay with his friend Bernard Clarke... Daisy Ashford has an exquisite eye for matchmaking and manners in English society, and her tale, with its hilarious observation and idiosyncratic spelling, is as irresistible today as it ever was. This edition of The Young Visiters is illustrated with drawings by Posy Simmonds which are as enchanting and witty as the story. The text has been transcribed from the original manuscript and includes J.M. Barrie's famous preface to the first edition. A BBC1 drama adapted from the novel, and starring Jim Broadbent as Mr Salteena, is to be broadcast in December 2003.
Daisy (Margaret Mary Julia) Ashford was born in Petersham, Surrey in 1881, the eldest of the three daughters of William Ashford and the sixth child of his wife Emma. She dictated her first story, 'The Life of Father McSwiney', when she was four and finished her last 'The Hangman's Daughter' when she was fourteen. The Young Visiters was written in 1890 soon after the family moved to Lewes, Sussex. Daisy was 36 when The Young Visiters was rediscovered and it was published two years later in 1919. In the following January she married James Devlin and spent the rest of her life in Norfolk. They had four children. Although all five of her other stories that survived from her childhood were published, she never took up writing again. She died in January 1972. Posy Simmons is a celebrated illustrator and cartoonist.