“And are not these the Fish,” the Eldest sighed by Harry Furniss. Swain, engraver. 1889. Illustration for Lewis Carroll's The Story of Sylvia and Bruno, p. 115. Source: Hathi Digital Library Trust version of a copy in the University of North Carolina Library. [Click on the image to enlarge it and see commentary below.]

The Badgers did not care to talk to Fish:
    They did not dote on Herrings' songs:
They never had experienced the dish
    To which that name belongs:
“And oh, to pinch their tails?” (this was their wish,)
    “With tongs, yea, tongs, and tongs!”

“And are not these the Fish,” the Eldest sighed,
    “Whose Mother dwells beneath the foam?”
“They are the Fish!” the Second one replied.
    “And they have left their home!”
“Oh wicked Fish,” the Youngest Badger cried,
    “To roam, yea, roam, and roam!”

Commentary

in Chapter XVII, ‘The Three Badgers’ in the 1889 Sylvie and Bruno this illustration bore the title “Those Aged Ones Waxed Gay” . The almost natural anthropomorphism of the animal characters compares well with similar such depictions of animal characters by John Tenniel in Carroll’s earlier Alice in Wonderland, a work which Harry Furniss would have known only too well. — Ray Dyer

Scanned image and text by Ray Dyer. [You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the credit the Hathi Digital Library Trust and the University of North Carolina Library and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]

Bibliography

Carroll, Lewis. The Story of Sylvie and Bruno. London: Macmillan & Co., 1922. Hathi Digital Library Trust version of a copy in the University of North Carolina Library. Web. 20 September 2016.


Last modified 10 May 2016