Sunday, November 09, 2008

Eric By Dean Farrar



This little chap is from my 2 volume OUP, Early Victorian History. He is captioned 'Boy of 1856: Eric, or Little by Little' and we are told that he lives at the Victoria and Albert Museum, but there is no more information about him than that and it's not entirely clear to me whether he is simply a boy doll of the period or if, for some reason, he is known to be a representation of Eric.


Eric or Little by Little was enormously popular in it's day. It is said that you can chart the journey of the Public School Novel in England with three landmarks. Eric was the good Christian boy, whose popularity was eclipsed by Tom Brown and who was finally reduced to a laughing stock by those ragamuffins in Kipling's Stalky and Co. But Eric endured nonetheless for a very long time and was constantly reprinted. My rather tatty copy illustrated here is the 1892 edition.

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