"What is a Darling?" describes the ideal late-19th-century innocent--who may be a bit hyperactive for modern tastes. The cheery little elf was a new model for children in works other than Robert Merry's Museum.


WHAT IS A DARLING? (from Robert Merry's Museum, October 1862, p. 111)

It is the dear, little, beaming girl who meets one on the doorstep, who flings her fair arms around one's neck, and kisses one with her whole soul of love; who seizes one's hat, who relieves one of one's coat, and hands the tea and toast so prettily; who places her elfish form at the piano, and warbles forth, unsolicited, such delicious songs; who casts herself at one's footstool, and clasps one's hand, and asks eager, unheard-of questions with such bright eyes and flushing face; and on whose light, flossy curls one places one's hand and breathes "God bless her!" as the fairy form departs.

Copyright 1999-2006, Pat Pflieger
To "Nineteenth-Century American Children & What They Read"
Some of the children | Some of their books | Some of their magazines
To "Voices from 19th-Century America"
Some works for adults, 1800-1872

To Titles at this site | Subjects at this site | Works by date
Map of the site