These Victorian children, based on real life characters (Kenneth Grahame’s siblings) are spirited and independent minded. And utterly unimpressed with the pious presentation of angels in their carefully vetted religious reading. In one painting they do find some that don’t fit the stereotype and who therefore capture their attention for being a little more puckish.

‘Angels, as we knew them in our Sunday books, were vapid, colourless, uninteresting characters, with straight up-and-down sort of figures, white nightgowns, white wings, and the same straight yellow hair parted in the middle. They were serious, even melancholy; and we had no desire to have any traffic with them.’

Source: Kenneth Grahame, Dream Days, illus. by Maxfield Parrish (Edin.: Paul Harris Publishing, 1983), p. 102

Photo credit – karigamb08 – pixabay.com

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