Monday, January 21, 2013

Lucy Maud Montgomery and Fairies

L. M. Montgomery Reading ChallengeShe believed in them, of course. Or did she? I think she liked to think that they existed, in part, because it meant that even if you couldn't see something pleasant with your eyes, there was always a chance that something magical and/or comical was happening behind the scenes.

Fairies are mentioned frequently throughout Montgomery's works. They receive a good amount of attention in the Pat of Silver Bush books, as Judy Plum hails from Ireland and likes to talk of the "little people." Believing in the idea fairies seemed to make Montgomery feel young again and a little more carefree than she did in her later years. Grasping hold of these creatures seems to have made her feel like she had captured the spirit of youth for all time. It kept her mistress of her secret imaginative world that no one else could be a part of. Believing in fairies did place her in her own little world, per se. In this world she was able to think like a child so as to continue writing about children in a way that made them believable to us, her readers.

I've reviewed a few books about fairies (around here and on other sites) which I will share with you again below. I've been asked before if I believe in fairies. My answer? Well. It wouldn't be good luck to the fairies to say now, would it? I think this quote states my opinion quite well:

“I was very much provoked. Of course, I knew there are no fairies; but that needn't prevent my thinking there is.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

Since I have no problems thinking that there might be, I enjoy picking up books on fairies every now and again. Here are some that I have collected and reviewed in the past. All titles are linked to my review.

The Night Fairy, by Laura Amy Schiltz (reviewed at 5 Minutes for Books)

Back in 2010 I reviewed a few Cicely Mary Barker flower fairy titles over at Reading My Library. (I'm considering renewing that challenge, by the way. I have a stack of library books sitting on my floor to see if I can pick that back up.) At any rate, I said then that if I ever had a girl I would plan to buy the Barker fairy book and I did so, picking up a copy of The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies early on last year. I think perhaps one of these lives in my yard:

And maybe one of these:

Last year I reviewed The Magical World of Fairies which is a set of paper dolls from Peter Pauper Press. These will remain high up on the shelf until Bookworm3 is ready to play with them.

Amy at Hope is the Word introduced me to Laura Ingalls Wilder's Fairy Poems. (FUN.)

A Child's Book of Fairies is a lovely addition to our home collection. This one is published by Barefoot Books.

Lastly, The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Fairies has horrible cover art but is a delightful book which I've also held on to for Bookworm3 and I to enjoy together. (Although I did enjoy it a bit with Bookworm1, once I had to tell him my honest thoughts of fairies, he lost interest in it. Sigh. He's very much a literalist.)

If you know of any fun titles relating to fairies, please do leave a note. I'd love to expand my collection. Why? Just because it's fun. Because it is nice to step out into a quiet clump of trees and imagine that they exist. Thinking that they are there does add to the beauty of the outside world. I don't know how that is, I just know that it is.

“There is such a place as fairyland - but only children can find the way to it. And they do not know that it is fairyland until they have grown so old that they forget the way. One bitter day, when they seek it and cannot find it, they realize what they have lost; and that is the tragedy of life. On that day the gates of Eden are shut behind them and the age of gold is over. Henceforth they must dwell in the common light of common day. Only a few, who remain children at heart, can ever find that fair, lost path again; and blessed are they above mortals. They, and only they, can bring us tidings from that dear country where we once sojourned and from which we must evermore be exiles. The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and story-tellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland.”
― L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl


BerlinerinPoet said...

I love your answer! And the quote!
When I was younger, my sister and I would go through the Flower Fairies books and decide which fairy was me and which was her. I don't know why that was so entertaining for us, but I can still remember who is who.

*carrie* said...

What a fun post. I've had fairies on the brain because that will be the theme for Natalie's upcoming 4th birthday party!

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