Sylvie and Bruno
by Lewis Carroll
Could this be one of the Books Forgotten, too? Everybody seems to have read Alice`s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and almost everybody likes the books, but Sylvie and Bruno seems to be neglected, for some reason. The book tells the reader about two fairy children, the Fairy King`s daughter and son. It is also about a rural medico and his friends. The two separate stories intertwine most curiously, so that at times one cannot easily tell where the Fairyland ends and where the "real life" begins. Joy and sorrow blend together, too... There`s more sorrow in this book than in either of the Alices, and perhaps that`s why the book is not very popular. But the book is funny, as well! It is here that you will find some of the best verses written by Carroll: Crazy Gardener`s Song, The Pig That Could Not Jump, What Tottles Meant, Three Badgers and many more; some of those surpassed only by The Hunting of the Snark.
The story begins with the Warden leaving on a journey. His brother the Sub-Warden is to take care of the Warden`s dominions and his two children, sweet Sylvie and elf Bruno. But the Sub-Warden aspires to become the Warden (and eventually the Emperor), and his wife covets the heirdom for her own son, the fat and nasty Uggug. So that means black days for Sylvie and Bruno... But Sylvie has the Jewel her father has given her, and that makes it possible for the children to visit fairyland whenever they wish to. Afterwards, it turns out their father the Warden is the King of Fairyland.
And the Sub-Warden`s coming into power starts with the loyal subjects clamouring for "Less Bread! More Taxes!"
The parallel story is about an old man coming to visit his friend, a young provincial doctor, and getting acquainted with some friends of his friend. Yet what`s really important is this old man turns out to be the link between the world of fairies and the "real" world...
The book is undeservedly forgotten and it surely is well worth reading. Translating, well, I dunno... I doubt this one could be translated properly... The translation into my language is surely awful. Some books should perhaps be left untranslated, sad as it may be...