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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
by E. M. Almedingen (adaptation of a memoir by Catherine Almedingen), 1874
Age Range: 9-11
In 1874 the famous Russian children’s author Catherine Almedingen published a memoir of her early life spent in czarist Russia during the first half of the 19th century called ‘The Story of a Little Girl’. E. M. Almedingen, a great-niece of Catherine, adapted and translated her aunt’s story into English and it became known as Little Katia or Katia.
Five-year-old Katia is sent by her father to live with her Cousin Sophie in Ukraine after her mother other dies. She spends many happy years with her adopted mother until she dies and Katia is orphaned once again. Now she must uproot again and return to Russia and her original family.
The story is narrated in the first person by Katia and offers the reader a fascinating insight into the social life of Russia at the time. Beautifully adapted and translated by E. M. Almedingen with perfectly interpreted black and white line drawings throughout by Victor Ambrus that further enhances the text. A classic of children’s literature in Russia available in this excellent English translation.