I’ve made a bit of a study of classic children’s literature over the years and although I don’t count myself an expert on the subject, I felt I just had to write to The Guardian Review about last week’s article by A.S. Byatt.
So I was really pleased to see that they had actually published the letter yesterday and illustrated it with a cartoon.
For some reason the Review letters aren’t on the website so I can’t link to them. I took a photo of the page instead. Here’s a close-up of my letter and their cartoon which was by Tom Gauld.
In general it was quite a good article but I do think that Byatt might have made some mention of the fact that so many of the authors she mentioned were actually Scottish.
I find that people from England tend to take it for granted that the great children’s classics were written by English writers. However, J.M. Barrie, George MacDonald, R.L. Stevenson, Kenneth Grahame and A.A. Milne were all Scottish. In the case of Milne, I believe he was born in England but brought up by Scottish parents and had a grandfather who was a church of Scotland minister. Just thought I’d mention it.