Daddy-Long-Legs follows the protagonist, Jerusha Judy Abbott, as she leaves an orphanage and is sent to college by a benefactor whom she has never met. The first chapter introduces the background of the story. Judy is noticed and subsidized by a secret trustee of the orphanage because of her talent in writing. If Judy wants to get the funds, she must write a letter about her life and studies to this trustee every month, and never expect a reply. Judy only captures a glimpse of this trustee’s back view and knows he is a tall long-legged man. Therefore, she jokingly names him Daddy-Long-Legs. The second chapter composes of numerous letters written by Judy to her imaginary Mr. Daddy-Long-Legs. She finds it surprising when the true identity of Mr. Daddy-Long-Legs is finally revealed.
Under the pen of the author, Judy is reflective, optimistic, and hard-working. She tries her best to face the challenge of growing up on her own. Through the story of Jerusha Judy Abbott, the author aspires to encourage readers to be positive and brave to embrace life.
Daddy-Long-Legs is Jean Webster’s most famous book. As soon as the book is released, it becomes a smash hit and has been a bestseller for a long time. Many reviewers highly praise its relatability and detailed depictions of the lives of orphans. The story has been successively adapted in various forms of stage plays, musical comedies, dramas, cartoons, and movies.
Jean Webster was born on July 24, 1876 in New York. During her early childhood, she lived with her great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother. Her great-grandmother fought for temperance issues while her grandmother advocated racial equality and women's election, which greatly influenced her writing preferences and styles. Jean Webster was known for depicting the heroic journey of lively and likable young female characters in her books.
In 1911, while she stayed at an old farmhouse in Tyringham, Massachusetts, Jean Webster began writing Daddy-Long-Legs, her most notable work. It was initially published as a serial in the Ladies’ Home Journal. Later in 1912, Daddy-Long-Legs was published as a book and received great popularity and critical acclaim all over the world.