Sunday, 22 December 2013

Christmas in Fairyland by Greville MacDonald

I haven't posted for a while, so a Christmas post is needed.

Illustration by Godfrey Blount, The Vineyard, December 1911,
from 'The Christmas Tree' by Maude Egerton King

In Greville MacDonald's enchanting fairytale Jack & Jill, a fairy story (J.M.Dent & Sons, London, 1913)  a Christmas scene is described that is reminiscent of some of the Haslemere Peasant Arts' ideals, but not the aspect of being sad because of a naughty dragon:

illustration by Arthur Hughes, from
Jack and Jill, a fairy story (MacDonald, Greville, J.M.Dent & Sons, London, 1913)

“They were walking down the High Street.  The shops had no glass in front.  They could see the fairy people all busy, though most of them silent and sad.  Some were weaving and spinning; some making toy furniture, carts and wheelbarrows; other were making shoes or clothes, fashioning little flags and Christmas-tree ornaments: some threading beads  and shells, and some painting wooden toys.

“Curdie,” aked Jill, “can we buy things without money like we did the apples?”
“Yes, Miss Jillie,” the good dog answered, “anything we need and have paid for.”
“How can we without money?” asked Jack.
“By doing work.”

Then Jill took her spindle and distaff, both of which she had been carrying under her arm, and began to be very busy.  Jack got his knitting needles out of his sabretache, set his sword-belt straight, half drew his sword as if to see that it had not rusted in its scabbard, set his cocked hat on one side, and began to knit.”

illustration by Arthur Hughes, from
Jack and Jill, a fairy story (ibid.)_


  1. The detail on the Christmas tree is beautiful!

  2. It is wonderfully detailed, I don't think I've managed to capture all the animals on it well, and this was the second picture I've taken of that image over the years too. Amongst the lanterns and hearts on the tree, the animals are an interesting array, the significance of all of them I am not clear. Going clockwise from the top I believe it is:
    a rooster
    a lamb or a deer
    a cat? or maybe even a big frog!
    a cow
    two turtle doves?
    a donkey
    a cat
    a rabbit


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