Abstract

During the Victorian period, the concept of miniature worlds, invisible to the eye but ever-present to the imagination, captivated both readers of microscopic literature and audiences of fairy texts. The convergence of scale between the microscope and the fairy fostered a strong imaginative link between the two. Natural scientists used the imagery of fairyland to convey the incomprehensible strangeness and minutiae of the microscopic world, while fairy authors and illustrators drew upon microscopic discoveries to lend a sense of reality to their unbelievable imaginings. This essay traces the connection between the microscope and the fairy through scientific and fantastic literature, before culminating in an examination of fairy science texts that directly combine the two.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2052
Print ISSN
0042-5222
Pages
pp. 638-666
Launched on MUSE
2015-12-24
Open Access
No
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