> It's my favourite NS as well: I did read it as a child, and thought that  the
> ending was wonderful - I remember laughing out loud with triumph when I got 
> there.  It's a Cinderella story, of course, and how could one want 
> Cinderella 
> to stay sitting in the ashes, even if we're all assured that sweeping  
> kitchens is far more important and useful than marrying princes?  I can 
> quite see 
> that, from an adult point of view, we'd like to be reassured that  humdrumity
> (if I may invent an abstract noun) is better than fame and fortune,  because
> most of us on this list are humdrumers (and again...).  But for a  child,
> never!

Perhaps I'm just very dull (and I wouldn't deny accusations of humdrummity) but 
even as a child I preferred Petrova and Myra Forum and Ginny Bell (and Paul 
whose singing voice was like a nutmeg grater) and I would have hated for them 
to have developed unlikely talents. I don't want my heroes and heroines to win 
through because they are talentedbut because they are persistent and clever 
(thus Klaus is my favourite Baudelaire because he has neither sharp teeth, nor 
a talent for cookery of invention, but simply works hard at reading). I guess 
that's why I've just never really liked fantasy even when it doesn't involve 

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