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Jean Ingelow was born on 17th March at Boston in Lincolnshire, England, and lived there until she was fourteen, when she moved to Ipswich with her parents. She was brought up very strictly, was never taught dancing, and never entered a theatre. Her parents discouraged authorship, but when they gave her no paper she scribbled verses on the white shutters in her bedroom, until they came to realize that she had been endowed with the literary talent which should be encouraged and not buried.Review:
Jean Ingelow became one of the most famous poets of her period, and though she is now remembered in this way by only a few poems in anthologies, many people suggested that when Tennyson died, she should succeed him as Poet Laureate. Nevertheless, she is now remembered best by one book, her strange and haunting fantasy for children, Mopsa the Fairy (1869). She wrote several other books for adults, but Mopsa the Fairy has always held a place apart, which Charlotte M. Yonge ranked with Alice in Wonderland. --From the Introduction to the original Lippincott edition.
Mopsa the Fairy is a marvelous fantasy, and greatly deserving of more currency among the children of the 21st century. Like George McDonald's At the Back of the North Wind, The Princess and the Goblins, The Princess and Curdy, and Charles Kingsley's The Water Babies, it represents a moving characterization of both the cruelties and the absurdities of human culture toward the natural world and toward other beings, both human and animal. --The editor, Mary M. Leue, in the Introduction to the Down-to-Earth edition
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