Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2010

Sometimes fairytales aren't

When looking for Australian fairytales I used title as my first classification method but this was not always successful.  I initially included ‘Up the Moonpath’ a story by Macdonald in Childhood in Bloom and Blossum. This was a souvenir book of the Children's Hospital bazaar complied and edited by Joshua Lake and published in 1900. On page three the editor suggests that ' This book is a contribution to the Children's Hospital by the Art and Literature of Melbourne.'  Image of Children's Hospital ( circa 1909) Though fairyland is presented as being at the end of the shimmering moonpath that ‘ran across the lake and faded out to a faint glow in the distance, just under the moon’ and is peopled with ‘bright little people l’ it is not really fairyland but a book about the death of a child and fairyland is a metaphor for heaven.  Ita takes her place in fairyland (heaven) and another little ‘King’ arrives to take her place in her mother’s bed and soothe her parents' …

Tassie Tales

Opening one of the last remaining copies of the first Tasmanian fairytale book at the Tasmanian State Library was a memorable moment.  Although accessing was made difficult by the expectation that I should print a copy of the book details on paper before entering - not noted on their website and after devesting myself of bags etc downstairs to enter- a tad difficult without money or a photocopy card. Beatrice Wilcken's book  written on a visit to Tasmania when staying with friends is a delight. Reprinted twice (1890/1891) before she returned to NSW and later to Germany it seems to be her only foray into print.  A reviewer said,
A little, and nicely bound and ornamented book, has just been published, entitled Fairytales, Fables and Legends, by Mrs. Beatrice Wilcken. These tales, we understand, have met with so much approbation privately that the author has been persuaded to publish them, and we think they will meet with a very favourable reception from the public also. The various t…