Tragic Children’s Literature

Baby D (Shall I call him Toddler D now?) and I have been reading some classic children’s literature before he falls to sleep at night. We started with Peter Pan. When we finished, I looked up author J.M. Barrie on Wikipeda. Barrie, divorced from his wife developed a close friendship with the Davies family and their boys George, John, Peter, Michael and Nicholas. He wrote the stories for them and has over the years been accused by scholars of having a pedophilia type obsession with them.

Yuck.

Next we moved on to Alice In Wonderland. Never married Lewis Carroll developed a close relationship with the Liddell family and their girls Lorina, Edith and Alice. He wrote the stories for them and over the years has been accused by scholars of having a pedophilia type obsession with little Alice.

Yuck.

The Davies boys “flatly deny” any wrong doing on Barrie’s part and a recent letter discovered n the Carroll family papers suggests it was Alice’s nanny Carroll was really obsessed with . . .but still . . . it’s all so sad that these fine children’s stories are tainted by this sort of rumor.

So now we are beginning Winnie the Pooh and I thought I ought to read about A. A. Milne before got to far and became upset by some sort of rumor following him through history.

A.A. Milne was married (Hooray!) and they had one son Christopher Robin (of course!) but they really wanted a girl they were going to name Rosemary (Wait. Why would they say such a thing out loud?). That is why CR needs a haircut and is dressed in those coats and frou-frou shoes (I thought that was just an English thing). The success of the Pooh stories far out weighed the other serious literary work Milne had done and he became angry and resentful until he died. Christopher Robin, meanwhile, was unmercifully teased at boarding school about being Christopher Robin and ended up writing three autobiographies of his torture, cut off all relationship with his parents, and was angry and resentful until he died.

Oh, bother.

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