Charles Dickens - Facts, Plot Summaries and Information

Information about the Magic Fishbone, written by Charles Dickens.

Magic Fishbone Summary

The Magic Fishbone is a children's book written by Charles Dickens in 1867, who pretended that it was written by Miss Alice Rainbird, age 7. The book was one of four so-called "holiday romances" (his much more famous Christmas Carol being one of the others comprising this group). It was first published in a children's magazing in the United States, and then reprinted in the British magazine called "All the Year Round".

The book tells the story of Princess Alicia, who is given a magic fishbone by her fairy godmother and then uses the fishbone to improve the fortune of her parents, the King and Queen, and her eighteen brothers and sisters.

Illustrations from the Magic Fishbone, by Charles Dickens

The Magic Fishbone was reprinted in 1911 with illustrations by S. Beatrice Pearce, which are reproduced below:
The Queen Came in Most Splendidly Dressed
Several of the Children Were Growing Out of Their Clothes
Hoity Toity Me!
He Saw the Fishbone on her Plate
But that was not the worst of the good Queen’s illness. O, no! She was very ill indeed, for a long time.
This most particular secret was a secret about the magic fish-bone, the history of which was well known to the Duchess, because the Princess told her everything. The Princess kneeled down by the bed [Pg 17] on which the Duchess was lying, full-dressed and wide awake, and whispered the secret to her. The Duchess smiled and nodded. People might have supposed that she never smiled and nodded, but she often did, though nobody knew it except the Princess.
What have you been doing?Snipping stitching cutting and contriving, Papa.
Well! and so another time the baby fell under the grate. The seventeen young Princes and Princesses were used to it, for they were almost always falling under the grate or down the stairs, but the baby was not used to it yet, and it gave him a swelled face and a black eye.
The Dance of the Eighteen Cooks
What is the Matter Papa?
Alicia, my dear - how do you do?
She appeared exquisitely dressed like a little  bride
The End

You can read the Magic Fishbone online here.

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