And Girls Did Play Too? E. Nesbit’s version of H G Wells’ Floor Games – Wings and the Child 1913

One of Edith Nesbit’s elaborate play palaces and magical cities in Wings and the Child (1913)

I have previously mentioned E. Nesbit’s curious short story The City in the Library 1901 with her own children featured in this odd fever dream:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/25/how-to-feed-toy-soldiers/

Wells and Nesbit knew of each other and had links to the socialist Fabian Society (after which she named her son Fabian).

Scholarly Editing indeed: Intriguing references to Britain’s Civilians and E. Nesbit’s Wings and the Child. As ever, the Brontes! Scholarly Editing 2017, Volume 38 Little Wars by H. G. Wells Edited by Nigel Lepianka and Deanna Stover

Thanks to Rahway flagging up a scholarly editing of the Little Wars text, Scholarly Editing 2017, Volume 38- Little Wars by H. G. Wells – edited by Nigel Lepianka and Deanna Stover

https://scholarlyediting.org/2017/editions/littlewars/intro.html#page_info

I discovered that E.Nesbit, in parallel to Wells writing Floor Games (1911), wrote her own book on how to make miniature worlds and magical cities, published in 1913, the year Little Wars was published.

Wings and the Child can be read here in text form with illustrations:

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/38977/38977-h/38977-h.htm#Page_3

Lots to enjoy and ponder here for the weekend.

The book reminds me of Edwardian “gardening with children” manuals. The relatively new idea of “Childhood” for some, especially middle class Edwardian childhood, suddenly needed its Parenting manuals. Arguably these are an improvement on the stereotypical Victorian parenting of “Children should be seen and not heard” – especially in Sunday’s – and preferably not seen either.

“Now send them off to the Nursery with the Nurse or Governess or Boarding School …”

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 23 January 2021