It is surprising how little society has changed in attitudes, yet if we look at the Victorian era, we forget to hold a mirror up to ourselves. We are shocked by what they saw a normal behaviour and we see as disturbing behaviour.
I’m writing a short story based around Lewis Carroll’s wonderland and have just watched a documentary about his book and his fondness for the little girl, he wrote Alice in Wonderland for.
Now there is no solid evidence that he was a paedophile, but he did take photos of children naked. With our modern day attitudes towards nudity and protecting children’s innocence we can easily jump to the wrong conclusion.
According to the presenter of the program, Lewis Carrol had the parents with him when he was taking the photographs. I do know of another famous Victorian photographer who also took photographs of naked boys on the shoreline in Whitby.
We need to remember poor families in the Victorian times lived in crowded houses, with no privacy, so seeing naked bodies and especially those of children were not viewed with the same attitudes as ourselves.
Another comment which was also said in passing was that the age of consent for young girl at that times was as young as 12 years old. To our ears we would find it shocking, yet in parts of America and many other places around the world, girls as young as seven and eight are still being married off, before finishing their education, and most are married off too much older men.
Before we start condemning what went on in the past, which we cannot change, we should look to what we can change for the future.
Alice in Wonderland found herself in a crazy situation in a fictional book, but the sad fact is there are hundreds of young girls and women caught in an endless circle of poverty and abuse with no escape.
Right, back to my children’s story. The word count is 2500. I better get busy. I’m not sure where I’m going with it, but it is an interesting journey.
I shall let you know what happens next. Thomas and his grandmother are talking books. Thomas thinks books are boring, and anyway, he has have books on his tablet, if he wants to read.
Can Fenella persuade Thomas that books are magical places?
Well, we will see.
Happy writing everyone,