On this day: the Publication of Thumbelina

Казки_Андерсена_(1873)__Стор__78-79An illustration from Казки Андерсена з короткою ёго життєписью (1873) —Thumbelina first Ukrain

1873 illustration from the first Ukrainian translation. X

Danish author Hans Christian Andersen‘s fairy tale Thumbelina was published for the first time on the 16th of December, 1835.

The story, about a “thumb-sized” girl who goes on an adventure involving toads, birds, and a mole, and who then meets a miniature prince, wasn’t well-received at the time because it didn’t teach any morals.

The first English translation of the book was completed by Mary Howitt in the 1840s.

Usually omitted from English versions of the story, Andersen’s original featured a bluebird telling the story to Andersen himself. The bird had been in love with Thumbelina, and was heartbroken when she married the prince.

On this day: the publication of Black Beauty

Repost from 2016

black-beauty-is-an-1877-novel-by-english-author-anna-sewell-it-was-composed-in-the-last-years-of-her-life-during-which-she-remained-in-her-house-as-an-invalid-24th-november-1877-

1877 first edition cover. X

Black Beauty, a novel by English author Anna Sewell, was first published on the 24th of November, 1877.

Considered to be a story about animal rights, the book is about the life of a horse, told in autobiographical form.

anna-sewell-30-march-1820-e28093-25-april-1878-author-of-black-beauty

Sewell had been barely able to walk since she was fourteen, when injuries to both her ankles were incorrectly treated, and she was an invalid when the book was written and published.

While she lived to see Black Beauty’s initial success, she died of an illness only five months afterwards.

Vanity Fair (2018)

I’m not sure how I missed this, but a new adaptation of Vanity Fair was released in 2018, and I just watched the first episode last night. It has some great casting, captures the Regency world wonderfully, and has an amazing depiction of the (in)famous Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens!

I’m hoping to watch the rest of the miniseries over the next few days.

TIME Magazine: The Famous Women Writers Whose Friendships We’ve Forgotten

Pride and Prejudice 1980 Chalrotte Elizabeth Episode Three

Interesting article over at TIME Magazine:

The Famous Women Writers Whose Friendships We’ve Forgotten

“…After all, writers have always turned to each other for creative and moral support. The alliance between Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth is enshrined in literary lore. A mention of Lord Byron immediately brings to mind Percy Bysshe Shelley. And biographies of F. Scott Fitzgerald are incomplete without reference to Ernest Hemingway.

But where are the women in this roster of legendary friendships? Jane Austen is mythologised as a shy and sheltered spinster; the Brontё sisters, lonely wanderers of windswept moors; George Eliot, an aloof intellectual; and Virginia Woolf, a melancholic genius.

Skeptical of such images of isolation, we set out to investigate. We soon discovered that behind each of these celebrated authors was a close alliance with another female writer. But, to this day, these literary bonds have been systematically forgotten, distorted or downright suppressed…”

Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens!

I definitely have my issues with the man himself, but there’s no denying Charles Dickens’ incredible influence on the world.

The English author was born on this day 207 years ago.

You can see some pictures from my 2017 visit to his London house HERE.

Dickens_Gurney_head Charles Dickens (1812-1870) between 1868 and 1867