The unique blend of fairy tale atmosphere and social realism in this novel laid the groundwork for modern fantasy literature. In the novel, Little Diamond, a kind and precocious boy living in poverty, is befriended by the mysterious North Wind, who takes him on her nightly adventures. Written in intensely poetic language, At the Back of the North Wind transcends the genres of children''s book or fairy tale. Appendices include essays on childhood by contemporaries such as John Ruskin and Charles Dickens, as well as contextualizing selections from Victorian fantasy and fairy tales.
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