'St Nicholas and St Valentine' from What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge
Novel Excerpt (1872)
Badly injured and immobile, Katy is adapting to her new and limited life, and from her bed she makes Christmas extra special for her younger siblings.
With only Jennings to separate this and Alcott, we now return to North American children's classics. Katy Carr is one of the Victorian 'angry girls' that followed Jo March, and her Christmas chapter finds her coming to terms with her situation. She has begun to learn patience from the extraordinarily good Cousin Helen, and finds that her new state of both mind and body allow her to think and plan for the pleasure of her family. She even has an ally and confidante in a former antagonist, the strict yet kind-hearted Aunt Izzie. The story is typically moral and sentimental for the time it was written and, in my opinion, typically charming and lovely as well. Having read this chapter, I decided that the second half focusing on Valentine's Day should be included, as it really does carry on from the Christmas events very nicely.
'Dorry's list ran thus:
'A new Bibel
'Harry and Lucy
'Everything else Santa Claus likes.'
Susan Coolidge, What Katy Did (Wordsworth Editions Limited, 1994), p.122.