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Welcome to The House Without Windows!

This site is dedicated to sharing an extraordinary book. In 1927, Barbara Newhall Follett published a book called The House Without Windows & Eepersip's Life There. The book had an interesting history. Barbara, a gifted child, wrote the story as a gift to her mother when she was eight years old. Her father originally thought to have a small number of bound copies made for friends. But just after it was completed and ready for printing, it burned in a fire.

Over the next three years, Barbara painstakingly recreated it, and around this time her father thought that it was so unique that perhaps it should be published. Knopf Publishing accepted it and it was released to great acclaim. Barbara was declared a child prodigy and was for a time very famous. Given how literate the writing is, it’s not hard to see why.

Many reviewers gave it high praise:

“I don’t know what to call this book, except a miracle.”
 – Eleanor Farjeon

“There can be few who have not at one time or another coveted the secret, innocent and wild at the same time, of a child’s heart. And here is little Miss Barbara Follett, holding the long-defended gate wide open and letting us enter and roam at our will over enchanted ground.”
– New York Times review

“This is very beautiful writing. But there are moments when, for one reader, this book grows almost unbearably beautiful. It becomes an ache in his throat. Weary middle-age and the clear delicacy of a dawn-Utopia, beckoning. . . . The contrast sharpens to pain. One closes the book and shuffles about doggedly till one finds the evening paper and smudges down to one’s element.”
– The Saturday Review of Literature

“I think Barbara’s fanciful story is an important contribution to child psychology; but, even more, it is an exquisite piece of work which would have been greeted with loud and deserved cheers if it had come from the pen of Walter de la Mare. There is much poignant beauty in its descriptions, much that is real poetry in this reflection of an idyllic outer work in the unflecked mirror of a child’s consciousness.”
– New York Evening Post

It's a somewhat strange book that you might call a nature fantasy. At its core, it's the story of a child who decides to "go wild" by running away from her parents and returning to nature to live. But it's one of those books that re-reading allows one to find deeper meanings.

The book has been difficult to find for a long time, and currently the rare copies for sale can go for several hundred dollars. Many people have desired to read it (or own it), but it hasn't been readily available. Until now! On this site you'll find the full text of the book for download in a variety of formats.

The story of Barbara Follett herself is no less interesting. After a somewhat tragic life, she disappeared in 1939 at the age of 25. You can read a short biography of her history by clicking here.

The House Without Windows is a very odd book, no doubt about that. To many people, it seems to appeal at a very deep level. You can read my review of the book in the review section (no spoilers).

A final word: All the work on this site is placed into the public domain. You are free -- and encouraged -- to copy, share and distribute anything you like. Reproduce the whole site. I created this because I thought THWW was a brilliant work of literature that more people should read. Help me help Barbara live again through her work.

Chippy