Adventures in Toyland

Adventures in Toyland

Edith King Hall


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Adventures in Toyland (1897) is a children’s novel by Edith King Hall. The fifth of seven relatively unknown children’s novels by Edith King Hall is a quirky, fun, and incredibly original story for children and adults alike. Reminiscent of E. T. A. Hoffmann’s “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” Adventures in Toyland is an underappreciated classic from a master of Victorian fiction. “All sorts of toys were to be found in that toy-shop. It was truly a place to please any child! A little girl, who had come to stay there with her aunt—the owner of the shop—and her little cousin, was always to be found amongst the toys; she was forever picking up and admiring this one, stroking that one, nursing another. All her spare moments were spent in the shop.” While playing in her aunt’s toy shop, a young girl has a magical encounter with a mysterious Marionette, who informs her that the world of toys is just as real as the world of human beings. Given the chance to speak with the Marionette for two weeks—after which the toy will go silent forever—the young girl enjoys tales of conflict and adventure set in a wonderful kingdom of creatures and toys alike. From the tale of “The Rabbit and the Mouse” to the story of Belinda the wax doll and Jack, “the curly-headed Sailor-Boy,” Hall never ceases to astound. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Edith King Hall’s Adventures in Toyland is a classic work of British children’s literature reimagined for modern readers.


Edith King Hall:

Jack London (1876-1916) was an American novelist and journalist. Born in San Francisco to Florence Wellman, a spiritualist, and William Chaney, an astrologer, London was raised by his mother and her husband, John London, in Oakland. An intelligent boy, Jack went on to study at the University of California, Berkeley before leaving school to join the Klondike Gold Rush. His experiences in the Klondike—hard labor, life in a hostile environment, and bouts of scurvy—both shaped his sociopolitical outlook and served as powerful material for such works as “To Build a Fire” (1902), The Call of the Wild (1903), and White Fang (1906). When he returned to Oakland, London embarked on a career as a professional writer, finding success with novels and short fiction. In 1904, London worked as a war correspondent covering the Russo-Japanese War and was arrested several times by Japanese authorities. Upon returning to California, he joined the famous Bohemian Club, befriending such members as Ambrose Bierce and John Muir. London married Charmian Kittredge in 1905, the same year he purchased the thousand-acre Beauty Ranch in Sonoma County, California. London, who suffered from numerous illnesses throughout his life, died on his ranch at the age of 40. A lifelong advocate for socialism and animal rights, London is recognized as a pioneer of science fiction and an important figure in twentieth century American literature.