Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lob Lie-by-the-Fire, The Brownies, and Other Tales

Written by: Julia Horatia Ewing

First line: Lob Lie-by-the-Fire—the "Lubber-fiend, as Milton calls him—is a rough kind of Brownie or House Elf, supposed to haunt some north-country homesteads, where he does the work of the farm laborers, for no grander wages than "—to earn his cream bowl duly set."

Why you should read this book: This old volume of moral tales for naughty boys (and one tale for naughty girls) manages to inject a measure of whimsy and fantasy into the narrative even as it instructs good English children in obedience and appropriate class-based behavior. Fairies, real, imagined, dreamed, or related in stories, correct willful children and turn them into helpful and useful members of society. Additional magic is found in a number of Christmas tales.

Why you shouldn't read this book: Includes the standard racism, classism, and sexism one would expect of a nineteenth century manuscript.

No comments: