Children's Literature

Introduction | Island 1 | Island 2 | Island 3 | Island 4 | Island 5

Sub-Island: Dickens on Fairy Tales

The following excerpt comes from Dickens' "Fairyland in 'Fifty-four,"Household Words 193 (3 December 1853) 313-17.



      O, Brothers Grimm; O, Madam D'Anois, O, Sultana Scheherazade and Princess Codadad, why did you die? O, Merlin, Albertus Magnus, Friar Bacon, Nostradamus, Doctor Dee, why did I implicitly believe in your magic; and then have my confidence utterly abused by Davy, Brewster, Liebig, Faraday, Lord Brougham and Dr. Bachhoffner of the Polytechnic Institution? What have I done that all the gold and jewels and flowers of Fairyland should have been ground in a base mechanical mill and kneaded by you — ruthless unimaginative philosophers — into Household Bread of Useful Knowledge administered to me in tough slices at lectures and forced down my throat by convincing experiments? Are the Good People, the Brownies, the Leprechauns, the Banshees, the Witchwolves, White Lades, Witches, Pixies, Wilis, Giants, Ogres, Fairy god-mothers, Good Women in the Wood, Genii, Ghoules, Afrites, Peris, Elves, to give up the ghost; and am I to be deprived of all the delicious imaginings of my childhood and have nothing in their stead?...

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