JULIETTE LOW by Mildred Pace


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The fairy godmother of the Girl Scout movement surely must have been more of a personality than the rather vapid woman whose figure emerges from this biography. The story of her life leads up to about one third of the book devoted to her work in organization of the Girl Scouts; the main body of the text tells of her life -- from Savannah during and following the Civil War- to England, and the great estate which her husband bought after their marriage. Her childhood days- one could wish for more of the flight to Chicago, only briefly mentioned (and yet this is the one phase of her autobiography she completed); the contrasts between the deprivations of the South during the war and the comforts of Chicago; the return to Savannah, where her mother's Chicago property provided wherewithal for reinstatement of her father's business, for the best of schools for herself and her sister. Then the glamour days of a Southern belle- and her marriage to a rich young Englishman -- and the return to England, and life as a county aristocrat, a London court beauty, a hostess of fame. She was no longer young when a meeting with Sir Baden-Powell wakened her interest in the Boy Scouts, the Girl Guides- and from then until her death, she gave richly of herself and her wealth to the establishment of the movement- called ""Girl Scouts"" in America- in all parts of the world. As told by the biographer, it all seemed very casual and easy; one gets no sense of a really great organizer, a great woman coming to full stature. Rather you feel that it was again a hobby, as had been her painting, her sculpture, her porcelain work. One gets no feeling of the heart of the movement -- rather, a sense of a wand waved, an organization born in full flower. It is a superficial, a sentimental approach to a woman whose name should carry inspiration. Too bad there isn't a better book for the backing of the Girl Scouts.

Pub Date: March 10th, 1947
Publisher: Scribner