The Return of the Fairy : Australian Medievalist Fantasy for the Young

In November 2009, driving through the inner south-east ofMelbourne, I passed Como House, a South Yarra mansion built between the 1840s and the 1870s. Out of Como's gates tumbled a flock of fairies, girls aged between two and eight, wearing wings, fairy dresses and crowns, and carrying wands. A few boys were in evidence too, dressed as elves, fairy kings and pirates. At the time I witnessed this manifestation offairy paraphernalia I was tracking the occurrences and uses of the medievalist trope of the fairy in Australian literary and popular texts for the young. The 'Fabulous Fairy & Friends Day' at Como House (a fundraiser for the Australian School of Ballet) epitomised to me how thoroughly fairies have been taken up as part of the everyday experience of young Australian girls, many ofwhom attend fairy-themed parties, possess fairy clothes and accessories, and are introduced to literature focused on fairies.

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Published 1 October 2011 in Volume 26 No. 3-4. Subjects: Australian children's literature, Colonial literature & writers, Fairies, Medievalism.

Cite as: Bradford, Clare. ‘The Return of the Fairy : Australian Medievalist Fantasy for the Young.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 26, no. 3-4 - , 2011.