The Fairy Circus (1931)

Illustrated by Dorothy Lathrop




To the left, we show a copy of The Fairy Circus, as

written and illustrated by Dorothy Lathrop - published

by The MacMillan Company (New York) in 1931.


This example retains the original decoratively gold-

and black-stamped orange cloth cover.






On the right, we show the decorated

Title Page to The Fairy Circus.


The Fairy Circus (1931) is a wonderful tale of fairy folk written and illustrated by Dorothy Lathrop.


The whimsical tale is brought to life in a brilliant fashion by Lathrop's suite of illustrations that includes gorgeous

examples in colour and numerous stunning images in monotone. Her suite of images was so significant that it

received The Newbery Honor - a citation conferred by the American Library Association.



Our Greeting Cards and Reproduction Prints


We have prepared sets of 8 Greeting Cards displaying each of Lathrop's colour images for The Fairy Circus and on the left, we show an example of how these Greeting Cards appear. Ordering one of those sets is as easy as selecting the "Add to Cart" feature below and following the prompts provided with our Shopping Cart secured through PayPal.  Multiple purchases will be consolidated by that feature and shipping and handling costs to any destination in the world are accommodated

by our flat-rate fee of US$20 for every US$200 worth of purchases.


Code: DL FC CS(8)
Price: US$40.00

Similarly, we have prepared sets of 12 Greeting Cards displaying each of Lathrop's major monotone images for The Fairy Circus and on the right, we show an example of how these Greeting Cards appear. Again, ordering one of those sets is as easy as selecting the "Add to Cart" feature below and following the prompts provided with our Shopping Cart secured through PayPal.

Code: DL FC MS(12)
Price: US$60.00


When presented on Greeting Cards, these images are prepared as tipped-in plates - in homage to the hand-crafted

approach typical of prestige illustrated publications produced in the early decades of the 20th Century.


Hand-finishing is used to replicate the visual appearance of a tipped-in plate and the images are presented on

Ivory card stock (in the case of colour illustrations) or White card stock (in the case of monotone illustrations)

with an accompanying envelope. We have left the cards blank so that you may write your own personal



Should you wish to order a Reproduction Print or an individual Greeting Card from this suite of images, simply

click on the illustration and you will be taken to a new screen where you may select from a variety of sizing

options and organise payment through our Shopping Cart secured with PayPal. Of course, should you require a customised

preparation, we welcome your contact through


In the meantime, enjoy perusing these wonderful images from Dorothy Lathrop.



The colour illustrations


Plate 1

The Fairy Circus


Plate 2

They balanced berries and cherries on their noses

and played ball with the fairy without half trying.

They stood on their back legs, and they stood on

their front legs, and they stood on one leg at

a time with their tails way over their heads.

Plate 3

The chipmunks looked pleased and sat up very

straight. "Watch this fearless fairy, armed only

with a fragile stick, bend their furious wrath at

his will." They frisked down from their perches.

They didn't wait to be prodded. They ripped up

the mushroom steps one right after the other,

and hurled themselves through the forked stick

at the top.

Plate 4

Their cheers rose like shrill fluting. Then, in a

scramble that was more pandemonium that

parade, they fell into line and slowly marched

forward. The fireflies lit up their way. First came

the trumpeting heralds on mice who stepped high,

proudly curving their necks.

Plate 5

Then, in the wake of the trumpets' pealings, with

crimson trappings swaying, plodded the turtles.

The fairies who rode on each great head were ever

so gently rocked up and down - up, till they looked

down on the flowers, and down again past the

leaves. Though the turtles walked two abreast,

they made a line longer than could be measured

by an cat tail stalk. And each turtle held on with

his mouth to the tail of the turtle in front of him.

Plate 6

She stepped out on a thread almost invisible.

She danced, twirled, and pirouetted, all, it

seemed on empty air. The evening primroses


Plate 7

The first frog leaped with his rider, shot downward

and dived under the alien water before the fairies

had loosed their held breaths. The second one

jumped, and the third, also.

Plate 8

The animals all crowded closer. They wanted most

dreadful to play some more. But day was breaking

at last. And the fairies flew away.



The major monotone illustrations


Plate 9

They could hardly wait for the fairies to build the

cages of pine twigs before they dashed behind the

bars, where they showed their teeth and growled

fiercely. For squirrels can growl. And, when some

of them had made themselves lion manes by

wrapping their tails around their necks as they

would go, no one could ask for better lions.

Plate 10

That band! What a queer noise it made! Have you

ever blown through dandelion stems? Then you

know how the smallest horns sounded. But with

trumpet flowers and virginia cowslips and flowers

from the coral honeysuckle vine, you can never

guess what a strange high piping and a tooting

shrill and low came from the rest of the band.

Plate 11

They stood on round apples that rolled, a much more

difficult feat for them than it is for an elephant to

crowd all four feet on a ball. An elephant can hump

his back until his stomach wrinkles and his feet are

bunched close together. But the turtles' shells

wouldn't bend in the middle; they wouldn't bend

at all.

Plate 12

They balanced on toadstools, and if these hadn't

been very new, spring up right there for the

purpose, they never would have stood the strain.

One didn't, but that was their Jumbo's - and

thirty ounces! Under that any toadstool would


Plate 13

In their radiance, the fairies' bodies flashed palely

translucent, as they swung in long curves, as they

twirled and somersaulted, all with their wings

tightly folded. It wouldn't have been fair to use

wings when mortals have none.

Plate 14

Here mice, wearing bridles, were cantering about,

shaking their heads and curving their tails into

sickles. These were not such mice as we know,

little and gray all over and timid - though a house

hostile with cats and traps would make any mouse

timid. These were wood mice with great eyes and

friendly, gentle manners, and with fur underneath

as white as the gills of a toadstool.

Plate 15

At our least touch these frail globes shatter. They

tossed them up, caught them, and flung them

spinning above their heads until the air was filled

with floating, whirling balls more fragile than

glass. Not one fell to the moss. Two floated away

and had to be flown for. But not one was marred

by the fairies' light fingers. Never was they such

skillful juggling.

Plate 16

The first mole up, the fairies pushed and down he

slid backwards, and landed all higglety-pigglety.

He picked himself up and wiggled himself all over

carefully. He was still perfectly whole. The next

one landed with is legs in the air. He loved it!

They all did! It was just like home. There they had

chutes of hard-packed earth wherever their tunnels

dipped suddenly, but none so slippery smooth,

none down which they could shoot like lightning.

Plate 17

Have you ever felt sorry for the lions in the circus,

and thought that, if you were a lion or a tiger, you

would eat the trainer right up? Perhaps the squirrels,

too, were sorry for them - or perhaps they were only

playing. But one squirrel crept up behind the fairy,

while the ones on the toadstools switched their tails

and got their hind legs ready to spring. Then all

together, with terrible growls, they lunged at the

fairy. He rocketed upward, right over the bars of

the cage! What would have happened if he hadn't?

All the other fairies, too, took to their wings.

Plate 18

The mouse who had once lived with humans, the

"only genuine white rodent in the woods," was much

in demand. I don't know what all the statues were,

but they had a winged mouse, and his wings were

tied on with a band around his stomach just like the

wings of the horses in the real circus statues. He stood

perfectly still, except that his nose kept wiggling.


Plate 19

Four powerful mice careened into the arena with

two fairies standing astride them, a foot on each.

Plate 20

But they had to save some for the weasels, for

they were waiting too, and remembering to

hump their back like camels. They tried to

look proud and indifferent, but they couldn't

help reaching for more just as eagerly as the

turtles. Some of the more timid fairies were

not quite sure they wanted to trust their

fingers so close to noses so sharply pointed.