Dame Desley is going away on a long journey and must leave her four children, Dick, Lubin, Matty, and Nelly, in the care of a queer old gentleman named Mr. Learning. Mr. Learning will provide each with a cottage called Head and a purse full of silver and copper coins called Hours and Minutes, but how the cottages will be furnished is up to the children. Whichever of the children has done the best job equipping his or her Head by the time Dame Desley returns will be presented with the Crown of Success.
The Crown of Success by A.L.O.E. (A Lady of England), pseudonym for Charlotte Maria Tucker, is an allegory written especially for young students. The Desley children make many trips to the town of Education to purchase the items they need to furnish the cottages of Head — wall-paper from Mr. Reading, grates from Mr. Arithmetic, carpets from Mr. History, tables and chairs from the warehouse of General Knowledge, and other items from familiar branches of learning. Dick, Lubin, Matty, and Nelly each have their own idea of how to go about furnishing the cottages, as most young people do. Dick gathers furniture for his Head with ease, but frequently tries to take on more than he can handle. Lubin prefers spending time at Mrs. Amusement’s bazaar to mastering the ladder of Spelling. Matty spends her Hours and Minutes on trifles and fiction instead of the useful pieces of furniture called Facts. Lame Nelly works slowly but steadily, cheered by the sweet song of a little bird named Content. At the close of the book, A.L.O.E. provides a special word of warning and encouragement to students who see themselves in one of the Desleys.
The Crown of Success also holds an appeal for those who no longer struggle up the steps of Multiplication or grapple with the pugnacious dwarf named Alphabet. Both Pride and Miss Folly have a way of making the acquaintance of people of all ages. Nor does Procrastination pick the pockets of children only! However, the sage advice of Duty and Affection, as well as the sacred Book they recommend so highly, is also offered to all of us no matter how young or old we may be.
Available free online, The Crown of Success provides an enjoyable family read with a lesson for everyone. In a world in which success is so often misunderstood, this allegory presents a much-needed picture of godly success.