THE DOLL WHO CAME ALIVE by Enys Tregarthen


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Written by a Cornish woman who died in 1923, discovered in manuscript by Elizabeth Yates and first published in 1942, this is the story of Jyd, a little orphan girl who received a Dutch doll from a sailorman, promising to ""love 'ee an' love 'ee till you're alive like me"" and then to teach the doll to wash and scrub. Sure enough Jane (the doll) when she does come to life much prefers cleaning to games and pretending. When Jyd's stepmother, thinking Jane bewitched, threatens to throw her into the fire, child and doll ""ride on footman's horse"" to the woods where they meet the dinky ""piskey"" folk, leaving at the end to live with (and wash and scrub for) the returned sailorman. Though both the concept and the phrases seem irredeemably quaint today, Tregarthen's obvious firsthand recreation of Cornish children's games and speech has a savingly ingenuous authenticity, and Nora Unwin's more conscious achievement of delicacy without mawkishness are just what the reissue needs.

Pub Date: Aug. 28th, 1971
Publisher: John Day