The Droning Voice hardly knows where to start. First of all, this is an anthology compiled, she believes, with pre-teen boys in mind. Pre-teen boys of 1915, who lived in England. So never mind the imperialism (and the blatant sexism). If the listener manages to stay awake, they will learn many fascinating things, including:
- The life cycle of a gnat
- All about antique furniture (the author wasn’t a fan of current styles in 1915)
- Random biographies of obscure men
- All about British trees (in poetry form)
- The various forms of slang boys used then, including such terms as “ripping”, “having a lark”, calling another guy a “cock” in admiration, AND proclaiming oneself a “fag” of the “cock”. Somehow The Droning Voice doesn’t believe those particular slang terms will be coming back into fashion any time soon.
- How to make a model ship and/or a water motor
- All about those new-fangled aeroplanes
- AND MORE!! MUCH MORE!!!
There are many, many wonderful illustrations in this book, mostly of children wearing stifling clothing, and dogs in hats. The latter is only one reason why you should attempt to find a copy of this online, and pay a hefty sum for it.
Hopefully the listener will be lulled to sleep well before they hear The Droning Voice making an attempt at Welsh pronunciations. Feel free to correct her, if you believe edifying her is important. Frankly, she doesn’t care, though acknowledges there are PAGES of resources on the ‘net devoted to helping people learn Welsh as a second language. Or a first language. Whatever. Since The Droning Voice is all about education, here is a single link to Welsh pronunciation which may prove marginally helpful when you want to impress linguists at parties: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Welsh_pronunciation
There are also two complete novels imbedded in this book (“The Secret Valley” and “The Mystery of the Manor”). The Droning Voice reminds her listeners that India is now an independent nation, and that the selling of ivory is illegal today, so don’t get all up in her business about anything perceived today as politically incorrect.
This book is certainly appropriate for children, unless you want them picking up the practice of doorbell-ditching their neighbors. Oh, and the imperialism.
There are lots of short stories included, random poems, and assorted factoids. The Droning Voice assuredly does NOT recommend any of the science experiments be attempted by anyone lacking a PhD and a hardhat. And fireproof clothing.