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Presumption and Innocence : Charles Dickens chastises those who alter the plots of classic tales to push some social agenda of their own.
Presumption and Innocence

Slightly abridged from ‘Frauds on the Fairies’, by Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens’s friend, the cartoonist George Cruikshank, rewrote various fairytales as propaganda for teetotalism. Dickens, however, soon appreciated the dangers in allowing social activists to indoctrinate children like this.

IT would be hard to estimate the amount of gentleness and mercy that has made its way among us through these slight channels.

Forbearance, courtesy, consideration for poor and aged, kind treatment of animals, love of nature, abhorrence of tyranny and brute force - many such good things have been first nourished in the child's heart by this powerful aid.

In an utilitarian age, of all other times, it is a matter of grave importance that Fairy tales should be respected.

Every one who has considered the subject knows full well that a nation without fancy, without some romance, never did, never can, never will, hold a great place under the sun.

To preserve them in their usefulness, they must be as much preserved in their simplicity, and purity, and innocent extravagance, as if they were actual fact.

Whosoever alters them to suit his own opinions, whatever they are, is guilty, to our thinking, of an act of presumption, and appropriates to himself what does not belong to him.

Slightly abridged from ‘Frauds on the Fairies’, by Charles Dickens

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