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February 07 , 2009

How did Long John Silver Lose his Leg?

And Twenty-Six Other Mysteries of Children's Literature


How did Long John Silver Lose His Leg? is a wonderfully diverting tour through some of the best-loved classics of children's literature, addressing many of the unanswered questions that inspire intense speculation when the books are laid down. Could Bobbie's train really have stopped in time (The Railway Children)? Did Beatrix Potter have the 'flu in 1909, and did this lead to a certain darkness in her work (The Tale of Mr Tod)? Would the 'rugby football' played by Tom Brown be recognised by sportsmen today (Tom Brown's Schooldays)? Having established the cultural importance of children's books in the modern age, the authors also consider the more serious issues posed by the genre. Why are we so defensive of the idyllic worlds presented in children's books? Why have some of our best-loved authors been outed as neglectful parents to their own children? Should we ever separate the book from its creator and appreciate the works of writers convicted of crimes against children? A treat for any enthusiast of children's literature, this entertaining book provides rich detail, witty explication, and serious food for thought.

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