Strolling around Disneyland this summer, re-acquainting myself with Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, Mister Toad, Simba, and so on, the following reflection occurred to me: that these strange imagined characters were originally (at one slight remove, in Simba’s case) the creations of some very bourgeois persons. Barrie, Grahame, Milne, and Kipling were conventional, sober, uxorious, well-dressed gentlemen of respectable employment and opinions, yet the fruits of their imaginations have proved far more durable than those of any bohemian counterculture you can name. Not a very original reflection, to be sure, but it is something to be able to reflect at all while heading from Fantasyland to Adventureland in ninety-degree heat with a first-grader and a preschooler in tow.

Some similar thoughts came to mind as I was reading the new selection of Longfellow’s works...


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