Dobbin And The Silver Shoes by Elizabeth Clark

Dobbin and the Silver Shoes: And Other Stories by Elizabeth Clark front cover

Dobbin and the Silver Shoes: And Other Stories by Elizabeth Clark

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This isn’t the first time I’ve come across Elizabeth Clark; I reviewed The Farmer And The Fairy a while back and enjoyed her greatly. She’s a classic sort of storyteller, somebody who delivers stories that feel slightly anachronistic now in our modern world and yet still possess a very particular sort of magic. And so, when I spotted a very charming edition of Dobbin And The Silver Shoes (1941 – tiny, and published in that delicate, fine wartime paper that is so evocative of the time), I was very happy to pick it up. It was also a plus that it was illustrated, as with her other work, by Nina K. Brisley who illustrated the Chalet School books and has such a delightful richness to her work.

As with The Farmer And The Fairy, Dobbin And The Silver Shoes (originally published in 1936) is fairly straightforward. It’s a collection of short stories based around a sort of folkloric / fairy tale vibe. There’s some light moralising here but nothing too overly dramatic (which, let me tell you is a delightful rarity) and Clark is clearly a gifted storyteller. It’s a charming, almost naive collection of stories and there’s a lot to recommend it. It’s not going to change the world, nor is it going to be ever considered as high or groundbreaking literature, but it is very nice. It’s clean, classic storytelling.

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