Very Victorian Fairy Tales


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Annabelle Troy’s YA novel Hansel and Gretel Inside the House of Candy is free on Amazon May 4-8. In honor of this David Copperfield, one of the characters in Jane Eyre Gets Real, whose life as created by Charles Dickens had many fairy tale aspects, gives you a rundown on some beloved children’s stories that first appeared in the Victorian era:

The Three Bears: When this was originally published in the early 1800s by then-Poet Laureate Robert Southey the trespasser was not Goldilocks but an old woman. This may explain why she was so eager to gum porridge and to take a nap on the bears’ very comfortable beds!

The King of the Golden River: Written by John Ruskin for 12 year old Effie Gray, it’s an allegory about the natural world being destroyed by the industrial. Though upon its publication in 1851 the story became a hit, the same could not be said for Ruskin’s eventual marriage to Effie.

The Selfish Giant: By Oscar Wilde, this one may make you cry! A giant who has a lovely garden refuses to let children play in it, with disastrous results. Before he became a well-known playwright it was one of Wilde’s first commercial successes.

The Reluctant Dragon: Instead of being fierce this dragon lives in rural Oxfordshire and reads books. Written by Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows fellow, in 1941 it was made into a Disney film.

Melisande: E. Nesbit, later famous for her Railway children’s novels, wrote this humorous story about a princess who longs to have long, golden hair.

If any of the above titles have intrigued you check out Victorian Fairy Tales (Oxford World Classics). And don’t forget to read Hansel and Gretel Inside the House of Candy.


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