Miss Bianca by Margery Sharp (1962)

Miss Bianca by Margery Sharp

From the original review of Miss Bianca (book #2  in The Rescuers series) by Margery Sharp in The Anniston Star, November, 1962:

What a joy it is, in the harsh literary wilderness of earnest tragedy and frantic sophistication, to find an  occasional fairy tale, all delight and whimsy and otherworldliness!

Margery Sharp gave us this pleasure several years ago with her wonderful little book, The Rescuers, the stirring tale of the Mouse Prisoners’ Aid Society and its daring rescue of a Scandinavian poet from the gloomy dungeons of the notorious Black Castle. 

Now the same mouse heroes return in triumph once more in Miss Bianca, a continuation of the hair-raising adventures as friends of  the oppressed.


Meeting Miss Bianca in the first chapter

“What a picture she made, as she stood modestly waiting on the platform for the applause to subside! — her coat ermine-white, her long dark lashes fluttering over her huge brown eyes — round her neck a very fine silver chain — her whole tiny, exquisite figure thrown into graceful relief against a background of potted palms!

But beneath that composed exterior her heart was in fact beating like a very small sledgehammer, for Miss Bianca had been drawn into public life against her will …”

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The rescuers by Margery Sharp

See also: The Rescuers by Margery Sharp

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Rescue of Patience goes forth

This time lovely Miss Bianca, an aristocratic white mouse in a silver chain, who periodically leaves her porcelain pagoda home at the Embassy to do her duty as a member of the Prisoners Aid, masterminds the rescue of eight-year-old Patience, the downtrodden servant girl of the wicked Duchess in the Diamond Palace.

Plodding faithfully  behind Bianca is her worshipping suitor, Bernard, a rough fellow but stalwart and true, to turn the winning trick at story’s end and  save Patience from a terrible fate.


Harrowing encounters 

Meanwhile the little white mouse and the long-suffering prisoner, her fingers pricked from the sharp diamond stars on the Duchess’s dusty wig, have many a harrowing encounter with clockwork ladies-in-waiting, despicable men servants, and ferocious bloodhounds.

Now all this may sound most juvenile, but here lies the surprise — Miss Bianca and its companions are written as much for adults as for children. The text is literate and full of delicious humor, the characters far more human than cute. 

And Garth  Williams’ exquisite illustrations are themselves  worth the price of the book.

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Miss Bianca and Patience illustration by Garth Williams

Illustration by Garth Williams of Miss Bianca with Patience 

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More about Miss Bianca by Margery Sharp

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Miss Bianca reimagined by Disney, 1977

Miss Bianca reimagined by Disney

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