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The Toadstool Tales

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"Mrs Bloxam took a variety of old stories, including several of Beedle's, and rewrote them according to her ideals, which she expressed as "filling the pure minds of our little angels with healthy, happy thoughts, keeping their sweet slumber free of wicked dreams, and protecting the precious flower of their innocence."
Albus Dumbledore on Mrs Bloxam's goal of writing the books.[src]
The Toadstool Tales were a series of adaptations of other works, written by Beatrix Bloxam. [1] They contained soppy, "sanitised" versions of other works, including the The Tales of Beedle the Bard , which was Mrs Bloxam's way of purifying them so as to preserve childrens' innocence. Beatrix Bloxam set out to write The Toadstool Tales because of the "unwholesome characters" and themes found in The Tales of Beedle the Bard that she believed were damaging to children.[2]

Adaptation of "The Wizard and the Hopping Pot"

"Then the little golden pot danced with delight- hoppitty hoppitty hop! - on its tiny rosy toes! Wee Willykins had cured all the dollies of their poorly tum-tums, and the little pot was so happy it filled up with sweeties for Wee Willykins and the dollies!"
—An extract of Beatrix Bloxam's version of The Wizard and the Hopping Pot in The Toadstool Tales

Among these adaptations were a "pure and precious" reworking of "The Wizard and the Hopping Pot", the last paragraph of which contains nausea-inducing nonsense about "Wee Willykins" curing his "dollies" of their "poorly tum-tums", and then giving them sweeties, reminding them to brush their "teethy-pegs", and promising to help the dollies and no longer be an "old grumpy-wumpkins".

Reaction by Wizarding children

The Toadstool Tales were universally loathed by children, and were eventually banned, presumably by the Ministry of Magic because they had a tendency to induce uncontrollable retching in the children who read them, as well as an immediate demand to "have the book taken from them and mashed into pulp".[3]

Etymology

The name The Toadstool Tales may be in reference to the fact that Beatrix Potter, whom Beatrix Bloxam may have been named after, was an amateur mycologist prior to her publication of The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

Behind the scenes

This would appear to be an individual with inclinations much like those of Thomas Bowdler, the Muggle who, in 1807, published The Family Shakespeare, a reworking of the Bard designed not to offend delicate sensibilities. Mr Bowdler's contribution to history, however, was the eponymous "to bowdlerise", meaning, essentially, to eviscerate a text in a futile attempt to remove all violent or sexual imagery and yet maintain some degree of story.

Appearances

Notes and references

  1. Beatrix Bloxam's Famous Wizard Card
  2. The Tales of Beedle the Bard (real)
  3. Beatrix Bloxam's Famous Wizard Card

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