Penelope Lumley is nanny to three very unusual children. Alexander, Beowulf and Cassiopeia are being raised on a country estate, but they haven’t always lived at Ashton Place. These children are unusual because they were initially raised by wolves! Besides teaching the children grammar, history and geography, Penelope is their guide to the world of proper manners. She has to remind them “Hugs, not licks!”
In The Incorrigibles #2 the whole family takes an extended trip to London. As usual, Lord and Lady Ashton are so self absorbed they aren’t really interested in Penelope or the children. Why Lord Ashton has kept them after finding them on a hunting trip is unclear and Lady Ashton, well, she makes it clear that she doesn’t want them around at all! And that’s OK because Penelope wants them. She loves them and the children love her.
Once they all get to London Penelope meets a very interesting young playwright who declares at their fist meeting, “dogs are a man’s best friend!” – and you now right away that Simon and Penelope will be kindred spirits. What happens after that is a bit of a mystery as Penelope tries to figure out why Lord Ashton is so interested in the Almanac and why her former Headmistress is so insistent that she continue to dye her hair. Wolf-like children are not the only strange thing going on.
If you like Lemony Snicket and A Series of Unfortunate Events, then I think you’ll like the Incorrigibles. The scrapes they get into because of their canine behavior are really funny and besides…it’s fun to laugh at the very ridiculous Lady Ashton. You can get an idea of what she is like when Penelope describes how she looks in her overly flouncy dress “like an ill-tempered wedding cake with feet.” (page 11)
Just how warped her view of the world is can be seen when she returns from visiting the poor:
“And their apartments! They were so tiny and depressing! Why they choose to live there is beyond me…I told them in the sternest possible terms that they must stop dithering away the hours in those dreadful factories they insist on going to every day, and devote their time to worthier pursuits. Like interior decorating!” (page 211)
She really needs to get a clue! Love Penelope. Love Simon. Love the children. Can’t wait to find out what happens in The Incorrigibles #3. Why IS it so important that Penelope dye her hair? Author: Maryrose Wood
- Read Chapters One and Two The Hidden Gallery
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- Maryrose Wood’s Blog
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place:
|Some more over-the-top funny adventures with children left with less-than-stellar adults:|