Forgotten Books by Famous Authors
by Maureen Friel

It sometimes happens that authors become synonymous with the most famous of their books. Most people know that A. A. Milne wrote Winnie-the-Pooh, but much to Milne's dismay, his plays and humorous fiction for adults fell into obscurity following Pooh's success. Some readers might remember that Kenneth Grahame wrote "The Relucant Dragon" in addition to the The Wind in the Willows, but how many know that "The Relucant Dragon" is an excerpt from a longer book called Dream Days?

Books like Winnie-the-Pooh and The Wind in the Willows are deservedly famous, but that doesn't mean that their less well-known siblings aren't just as lovable. It's time to give these "forgotten classics" a turn in the spotlight.

 
Sylvie and Bruno by Lewis Carroll

This innovative novel jumps back and forth between reality, fairyland, and the "eerie" state in which humans and fairies can interact. There is plenty of paradox, wordplay, and nonsense verse that Alice aficionados will adore, including "The Mad Gardener's Song". However, this is also a more serious story that explores religious and philosophical ideas that were important to Carroll. Carroll himself preferred Sylvie and Bruno to the Alice books for this reason.

 

 

 

 

Racketty-Packetty House by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Racketty-Packetty House is a charming novella about two dollhouses, the shabby Racketty-Packetty House and the shiny, modern Tidy Castle. Even though their owner Cynthia neglects them, the dolls of Racketty-Packetty House manage to have fun, enticing their aristocratic neighbors to join them. Like A Little Princess, this is a riches-to-rags-to-riches tale that will especially appeal to doll lovers.

 

 

 

 

Dream Days by Kenneth Grahame

Dream Days picks up where its predecessor, The Golden Age, left off. With their eldest brother Edward away at school, young Kenneth and his siblings are beginning to grow up themselves. Kenneth worries about keeping up with his younger sister Charlotte's imagination, while the youngest sibling Harold's latest past-time is not playing muffin-man, but writing "death-letters". Still, the humor, poetic style, and vivid imagination of the first volume remain in evidence, and one of my favorite stories from the two books, "Its Walls Were as of Jasper", appears in Dream Days.