1. In what respects is "Frauds on the Fairies" quite different from the kind of treatment fairy-tales had received from Dr. Bowdler and George Cruikshank?
2. One does not need to have read much of Dickens's work or know much about the mid-Victorian period to surmise Dickens's attitudes to a number of items he satirizes in this essay. With reference to the text, explain briefly his feelings about each of the following:
a. bloomers [women's trousers or slacks].
b. American slavery.
c. long-winded political speeches.
d. the fouling of the streets by carriage horses. e. industrial air pollution.
f. Daniel Defoe's novel Robinson Crusoe (1719-20).
g. Prohibition of the sale of alcoholic beverages.
h. quack medicines touted as panaceas. i. the etchings of George Cruikshank.
k. fashion columns in newspapers.
l. American democracy.
m. modern religious cults.
n. the emancipation of women, and in particular granting them the suffrage (right to vote).
3. Dickens "tries on" a number of "voices" or "personas" during the course of the essay. Point these out, and explain why he adopts these different styles of oral and written communication.
4. Why has Dickens substituted "speeches" for the Prince's ball?
5. Why has Dickens introduced such modern elements as newspaper advertisements in this traditional story, which ultimately is derived from Charles Perrault's Histoires ou Contes du temps passé (1697)?
6. Based on the opening and closing of the piece, briefly give Dickens's thesis for "Frauds on the Fairies."
- Charles Dickens's "Frauds on the Fairies" (text)
- George Cruikshank and Charles Dickens
- John Ruskin and The Literary Fairy Tale
Last modified 24 January 2006