The story to which Dickens alludes is Cruikshank's "Cinderella and the Glass Slipper" (1854), the first of three "updated" fairytales in George Cruikshank's Fairy Library, "Edited and Illustrated with ten subjects, designed and etched on steel by George Cruikshank. London: George Routledge and Sons, Broadway, Ludgate Hill; F. Arnold, 86 Fleet Street."

The offending passage that Dickens undoubtedly had in mind when writing "Frauds on the Fairies" occurs on page 25. After the Prince has successfully fitted the glass slipper on the heroine's dainty foot, his father, the King, declares that his subjects shall celebrate the couple's nuptials with "extraordinary doings." The king "amongst other things, ordered that there should be running fountains of wine in the court-yards of the place, and also in the streets." However, no sooner has the King uttered this sentiment than Cinderella's godmother, a dwarf, steps forward to remonstrate with the traditional monarch. She argues that, "although there is much boisterous mirth created by the drink around these wine fountains, yet your Majesty is aware that this same drink leads also to quarrels, brutal fights, and violent deaths."


Victorian Web Victorian illustration Charles Dickens

Last modified 24 June 2003