Juliana Horatia Ewing - Old Fashioned Fairy Tales (437.0 Kb)
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Fairy tale is an English language term for a type of short narrative corresponding to the French phrase conte de f'ee, the German term M"archen, the Italian fiaba, the Polish ba's'n or the Swedish saga. Only a small number of the stories thus designated explicitly refer to fairies. Nonetheless, the stories may be distinguished from other folk narratives such as legends and traditions (which generally involve belief in the veracity of the events described) and explicitly moral tales, including beast fables. Fairy tales typica... More >>>
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Fairy tale is an English language term for a type of short narrative corresponding to the French phrase conte de f'ee, the German term M"archen, the Italian fiaba, the Polish ba's'n or the Swedish saga. Only a small number of the stories thus designated explicitly refer to fairies. Nonetheless, the stories may be distinguished from other folk narratives such as legends and traditions (which generally involve belief in the veracity of the events described) and explicitly moral tales, including beast fables. Fairy tales typically feature such folkloric characters as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, giants or gnomes, and usually magic or enchantments. Often the story will involve a far-fetched sequence of events. In less technical contexts, the term is also used to describe something blessed with unusual happiness, as in "fairy tale ending" or "fairy tale romance" (though not all fairy tales end happily). Colloquially, a "fairy tale" or "fairy story" can also mean any far-fetched story or tall tale. In cultures where demons and witches are perceived as real, fairy tales may merge into legends, where the narrative is perceived both by teller and hearers as being grounded in historical truth. However, unlike legends and epics, they usually do not contain more than superficial references to religion and actual places, people, and events they take place once upon a time rather than in actual times. Fairy tales are found in oral and in literary form. The history of the fairy tale is particularly difficult to trace, because only the literary forms can survive. Still, the evidence of literary works at least indicates that fairy tales have existed for thousands of years, although not perhaps recognized as a genre the name "fairy tale" was first ascribed to them by Madame d'Aulnoy. Many of today's fairy tales have evolved from centuries-old stories that have appeared, with variations, in multiple cultures around the world. Fairy tales, and works derived from fairy tales, are still written today. The older fairy tales were intended for an audience of adults as well as children, but they were associated with children as early as the writings of the pr'ecieuses the Brothers Grimm titled their collection Children's and Household Tales, and the link with children has only grown stronger with time. Folklorists have classified fairy tales in various ways. Among the most notable are the Aarne-Thompson classification system and the morphological analysis of Vladimir Propp. Other folklorists have interpreted the tales' significance, but no school has been definitively established for the meaning of the tales.
Juliana Horatia Ewing (nee Gatty) (3 August 1841 - 13 May 1885) was an English writer of children's stories.
Juliana Ewing was born Juliana Gatty in 1841. The daughter of a vicar, she grew up in a large family in Ecclesfield, Yorkshire, England. Educated at home, she was encouraged to write by her mother, who edited Aunt Judy's Magazine, a publication for children later edited by Ewing and her sister. Ewing married a major in the British army, and the couple moved to New Brunswick, Canada. During her three years there, she sent home letters with watercolor illustrations of her life and surroundings. Ill health prevented Ewing from traveling abroad with her husband to his other postings, and she lived in England until her death.
Ewing's writings for children are rooted in family life and folk traditions. Her books include A Flat Iron for a Farthing: Or Some Passages in the Life of an Only Son (1872), Lob Lie-By-the-Fire: or, The luck of Lingborough, and other stories (1874), Jackanapes (1883), and The Peace Egg and a Christmas Mumming Play (1887). Her 1865 story "The Brownies" inspired the name for the Brownies of the Girl Scouts.
Juliana Horatia Ewing's writing was marked by genuine human feeling. Her greatest strengths were her ability to convey the normal pleasures of childhood in an unaffected, unpatronizing manner; her gift for detailed, accurate description of country life; her gentle, lightly ironic humour; and her simple, practical common sense and piety. Her stories may have the manner of the Victorian era, but they have a permanent place in the history of children's literature.
Ewing's drawings and paintings were welcomed by her family and friends primarily for two reasons. First, it gave them reassurance that she was faring well and enjoying her time in Fredericton. Second, it allowed them insight into life in the colonies - primarily because of Ewing's attention to detail, her curiosity and deep desire to communicate to those in England her observations and experiences. She, unlike other artists, was not looking to market her works, and, therefore, there is every reason to believe that there is little tendency to exaggerate, accommodate or edit her observations. Perhaps, in the same way that it has been said of her writing, that she wrote more about children than to children. Laski suggests that her works were less didactically moralistic and sentimental than other Victorian writers. It may be fair to say the same of her art work. She was keen to communicate accurately to her family what she observed. Modern viewers value them because of the record they offer of a critical time in New Brunswick and Canadian history. Her commentaries in text and picture also shed a considerable light on the social milieu of the garrison town, its social stratification and both the culture and environment in which she enthusiastically immersed herself.
Juliana's health had always been delicate and within a few years of their return to England she began to suffer more frequent bouts of illness. She died in 1885; some say from blood poisioning and others speculate that she had cancer of the uterus that had, over the years, metastasized. The Ewings never had any children - but she was loved the world over by the children who devoured her writings.
Her sister Horatia Katharine Frances Gatty (1846-1945) published a memorial of Julie's life and works, Juliana Horatia Ewing and Her Books London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1885. It contains a useful publication history of her stories. Leaves from Juliana Horatia Ewing's "Canada Home.", edited by Elizabeth S. Tucker (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1896) includes some of Julie's letters and drawings about Canada. A biography of her by Gillian Avery appeared in 1961 (London: Bodley Head).
Credits: wikipedia.org, wikispaces.com, www.biographi.ca