Genteel nostalgia far removed from the oddities of ""literary families"" so prevalent today, in childhood reminiscences of an English girl in the early 1900's. Here are detailed memories of a life among people of considerable means, of experiences that are individual, of personal quirks and tendencies. Daughter of a well-known consulting engineer and a beautiful Victorian mother, dependent on a forceful Nanny, Allanah records her youthful days in England, Europe, China, South Africa, Egypt, Spain - showing a picture of the out-of-the-way things that could happen to a young lady of quality who had the spark of non-conformity. The contrast between her information gathering abroad and her dullness at schools -- Mayfair, boarding schools in England and France, and a finishing off in a French bourgeois home; the extremes of city and country life; the impatience with the artificiality of the world as she viewed it after coming out and being presented at court -- all this leads finally to demands for independence. Colorful characters and unusual incidents embroider her recollections.