The Little Lame Prince and his Travelling Cloak
|Author||Dinah Maria Mulock Craik (as Miss Mulock)|
|Illustrator||F. McL. Ralston in 1st edition; Dorothy Todd in later edition|
|Published||1875 Daldy Isbister and Co. London|
|Pages||169 in 1st edition|
The Little Lame Prince and his Travelling Cloak (often published under its shorter title The Little Lame Prince) is a story for children written by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik and first published in 1875. In the story, the young Prince Dolor, whose legs are paralyzed due to a childhood trauma, is exiled to a tower in a wasteland. As he grows older, a fairy godmother provides a magical traveling cloak so he can see, but not touch, the world. He uses this cloak to go on various adventures, and develops great wisdom and empathy in the process. Finally he becomes a wise and compassionate ruler of his own land.
The author's style was to stimulate positive feelings in her young readers so that they would be motivated to adopt socially correct actions in whatever circumstances they encountered. She shows how imagination (mediated by the cloak) can lead to empathy and enlightened morality. However, some critics have found a deeper theme in this story, relating to the restricted lives of respectable middle-class British Victorian women that enforced helplessness.
The novel was first published in 1875 in the UK by Daldy Isbister and Co., 56 Ludgate Hill, London. Printed by Virtue and Co., City Road, London. The first edition had a frontis piece and 23 engraved illustrations and was a hardback bound in green cloth, decorated in gilt and black with illustrations on the front and spine. All edges were gilded. Its publication followed Craik's popular novel John Halifax, Gentleman and this was stated on the cover. It has remained in publication since, with multiple editions.
Explanation of the novel's title
The full title of the first edition is The Little Lame Prince and His Travelling Cloak - A Parable for Young and Old.
- Mitchell, Sally. "Books for Children". Temple University, USA. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
- Showalter, elaine (21 Mar 1977). A Literature Of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Brontë to Lessing. Princeton University Press. p. 392. ISBN 0691063184.
- "The Little Lame Prince and His Travelling Cloak". Victorian Women Writers Project. Indiana University. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
- The Little Lame Prince at Project Gutenberg
- The Little Lame Prince public domain audiobook at LibriVox
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