A Girl for All Time: Matilda Your Tudor Girl
Matilda Your Tudor Girl Doll
Recommended by A Girl for All Time for girls ages 6+
‘My name is Matilda Marchmont.’
‘Two days ago I would have said that I had the most boring life in the world, but ALL THAT HAS CHANGED. The day after my thirteenth birthday I left my sleepy country home and family to travel for three freezing cold days on horseback to London… to join the glamour and craziness of Henry VIII’s court.
I’ve only been here two hours and already its been terrifying, thrilling, shocking, weird and really exciting. My only friend in the world is my secret diary, which I lock in a hidden compartment in my traveling trunk. But I can share its pages with you… if you can keep it secret too…
I’ll be sharing court-life: the fashions, the food, the intrigues surrounding the queen, and whether I survive it all!
Matilda is beautiful. My first impression was that she was very well made. She was heavier than she looked, her extremities move and bend at the joints, she can sit. I searched information on her hair because if felt so real I wondered if it was real hair. It isn’t, it is made of acrylic, but it looks and feels so real. Her gown is stunning and I can’t wait to get Jackie the Masked Ballgown to go with her. She has all of the qualities of your most magnificent porcelain doll, except this doll, you can play with! I can’t count how many porcelain dolls of mine have been broken because a little girl “just had to play with her!”… Matilda alleviates that problem because now my girls have their own beautiful doll, with elegant clothing, shiny hair, and that “come play with me” look.
I asked Jackie what she liked best about Matilda and this is what she said:
I love her dress. It is a puffy dress, I like puffy dresses. The color is really pretty and the dress is soft. I like the key on the necklace – it is shiny. I like the lace on her shoes. Her shoes are also soft to the touch – feels pretty.
Jackie sleeps with her, and she has gone with her to in-town trips and sleepovers. She adores her and finds everything about her beautiful.
This book is recommend by A Girl for All Time for mature readers ages 9+ in America and 8+ in the UK.
The book was too mature for Jackie, who has just turned seven. While it was scaled down tremendously for a child’s understanding and innocence… there were portions that are still too mature for a child of her age. We tried, but at page 19, there was a man “pissing” in the fireplace, and I decided it wasn’t quite the right book for her.
“At one point, a man in purple stockings staggered into the corridor. He bowed, pulled open some sort of domed object that covered his male parts and started pissing into a fireplace, right in front of us!…”
My oldest daughter, Jasmine, who is eleven, really enjoys historical fiction and loves this book. I did request that she overlook the above mentioned paragraph (If I had one of those post-it labels I would have placed it over the paragraph and requested she skip it all together. My husband suggested she would have just lifted it and read it anyway).
Speaking of “pissing”….. this is the term that is used to describe peeing all over this book! I understand that this is not seen as a vulgar expression in England, especially at the time period set in the book, however, I don’t want my daughter running up to me saying she is “going to take a piss”. Because of this, Jasmine and I had a discussion about words and phrases that were once seen in a different light than they are today. It was an interesting and humorous learning experience.
There are many “grown up” topics that are touched upon in this book. Lets start with the obvious… This book is regarding the events that led up to the marriage between Henry VIII and Katherine Howard, their marriage, and portions of it’s conclusion describes her beheading. Everyone is aware that Katerine Howard was beheaded as a result of her adulteress behavior. Her love affair is discussed in this book- not the sexual matters, of course. Nonetheless, if adultery is not a topic you wish to discuss with your child at this time – please skip this book.
Another topic that is touched upon is bulimia. It is a brief comment but still a remark that should be discussed with your child.
“People came in and out between courses. Katherine says some really greedy courtiers leave to puke up, so that they can eat more.”
My final note is that girls of Matilda’s time were married young, thus, were sort of “boy crazy”. This is a great discussion opener for tween girls. I explained to my daughter that the life expectancy was much younger during those times as modern medicine has extended the life expectancy significantly. During the times of the Tudor’s the average person lived to the age of thirty-five making mid-life only seventeen. Because of this, there was an urgency to be married young, after all, thirty was truly considered old.
You may be asking, if there are so many “touchy” subjects in this book, why would I allow my daughter to read it. The writing in the book was fantastic. It was a gripping story. Once I stopped reading it to Jackie, I continued to read it myself. After I finished, I really thought about it’s contents and decided that it would be fine for my 11 year-old daughter. So long as we had a few discussions first.
Jasmine loved the book so much I ordered her Amelia’s Inheritance for Christmas. (Tip: I purchased mine from Amazon because I have a Prime account that provides me with free shipping.)
What I like about the main characters in the A Girl for All Time series – they both have a love for learning, reading, and knowledge. It appears, no matter what circumstances they are propelled into, what may distract them from their studies, they continue, or come back, to them. Please note that I have only read an excerpt from Amelia’s story, but it laid the groundwork for her to continue her studies so I assume she is going to.
Matilda’s Keepsakes & Secrets
Jackie loves this book! It is 88 pages full fun activities. Some of them are to be completed in the book, others are to be completed outside of the book – such as, recipes and sleepover ideas. This is the perfect book for a Tudor-themed sleepover or event. It is really cute and my girls like it. If your daughter is old enough for sleepovers, she is old enough for this book.
If you are looking for the next big doll craze – this is it! They dolls are stunning and the books are captivating! Mothers everywhere will be stealing them from their daughters!
Please visit A Girl for All Time to learn more.