Category Archives: Children’s Fiction

Julie Bertagna, the Exodus Trilogy

Not too surprisingly, literary fantasies of Glasgow are obsessed by the weather. Glasgow is a West Coast city which benefits from the warming influence of the Gulf Stream while enduring a high level of rainfall, as band after band of … Continue reading

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Poetics of Loss: John Masefield’s The Midnight Folk and British Fantasy in the 1920s

The close of the Great War saw an astonishing eruption of fantasy fiction written in English; above all fiction by women, or fiction by men about women, as if the appalling loss of male life in Flanders had thrown the … Continue reading

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Synchrony in Howl’s Moving Castle

Adults and children live in different time zones, their internal watches set to different rhythms, their days constructed around alternative timetables. The question of how to communicate across the temporal divide is confronted daily by parents and offspring, teachers and … Continue reading

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T. H. White, The Sword in the Stone

This post should begin with an explanation. The version of The Sword in the Stone being discussed here is the first British edition, which differs from the first American edition mainly in the chapter about Robin Hood. It differs still more … Continue reading

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Susan Cooper, The Dark is Rising

Christmas is the time when fantasies break loose, invading spaces they don’t usually occupy: your living room, offices, public thoroughfares, rubbish bins, most of the screens of the local multiplex cinema. But the fantasies of Christmas aren’t always comforting. This … Continue reading

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E. Nesbit, Five Children and It

As a child I was disturbed by Nesbit’s books. I don’t know what disturbed me: perhaps the bewildering fusion of carefully observed everyday details and fantastic incidents, and the reckless way she played with conventions, from gender roles and class … Continue reading

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George MacDonald, The Princess and the Goblin

If ever there was a taproot text – in John Clute’s terms, a fantasy that branches out into a thousand other fantasies – this is it. From the moment when the Princess Irene runs off into the uninhabited regions of … Continue reading

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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is one of those books that has had a gigantic impact on twentieth-century culture without anyone quite knowing why. The impact comes as much from a specific filmed version as from the book ­- more … Continue reading

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