Thursday, 31 October 2013

Another Rather Upsetting Victorian Children's book...

A little while back Withnail Books was briefly home to a somewhat disturbing Victorian children's book, detailed here. Though not quite hitting the same heights of alternate reality morbidity, this recent arrival also makes one wonder quite what the Victorians were on when it came to coming up with nice little books for their kids.

The book's a bit long to show in toto here, but a few pages will suffice to sum it up. Silverland is a scarce volume (no non-POD copies around online currently), circa 1882, written by 'Mabel' and with intricate 'Pictures in Colours' by George Lambert. It's about Little May, a girl who, as is the case with most little girls, desperately wants to see some fairies...









So far, so good. Little May is certain about the fairies, even though she never sees any, and the story continues with descriptions of the tiny folks that live in the various types of flowers, and how May grows up to be nice to her brother's pet squirrel (I didn't understand that bit either). But what's this? Here's the final spread...




THE END. No fairies for you, love! And no proof that they weren't just in your head all along. All you get is to stare disconsolately into the fire. Those Victorians were harsh.

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