on September 8, 2000
I have wished that i could go to Lilliput; in fact, i seem to recall reading a book with jealousy years ago in which a child or children went to Lilliput in the modern worl. Now, it seems, it would not be possible. The only remaining Lilliputians were kidnapped in the Eighteenth Century and brought to England to be displayed. They escaped and have been living for two hundred years on an otherwise empty island in the property, Malplaquet, of an ancient family. The current representative of the family is a poverty-stricken ten year old girl who discovers the little people. The tale shows the results, both bad and good, for them and for her. This is a delightful book; neither too easy for an adult nor too hard (as if there is such a thing) for a child. The villains, a Vicar and a Governess, are just funny enough to tip the balance away from any true fear for Maria ~ the little girl ~ and allow for full enjoyment of the ridiculous characters, situations, and resolutions White offers. It is quite true that "Gulliver's Travels" was, when written, a savage and cutting satire, whereas now we read it for enjoyment as children. "Misstress Masham's Repose" likewise contains more than a simple children's story; likewise, though, it is the story future generations will read it for.