The Magic Toyshop

The Magic Toyshop

Paperback VMC

By (author) Angela Carter, Introduction by Carmen Callil

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  • Publisher: Virago Press Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 208 pages
  • Dimensions: 126mm x 196mm x 18mm | 160g
  • Publication date: 27 August 1992
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0860681904
  • ISBN 13: 9780860681908
  • Sales rank: 19,330

Product description

This crazy world whirled around her, men and women dwarfed by toys and puppets, where even the birds are mechanical and the few human figures went masked...She was in the night once again, and the doll was herself.' Melanie walks in the midnight garden, wearing her mother's wedding dress; naked she climbs the apple tree in the black of the moon. Omens of disaster, swiftly following, transport Melanie from rural comfort to London, to the Magic Toyshop. To the red-haired, dancing Finn, the gentle Francie, dumb Aunt Margaret and Uncle Phillip. Francie plays curious night music, Finn kisses fifteen-year-old Melanie in the mysterious ruins of the pleasure gardens. Brooding over all is Uncle Philip: Uncle Philip, with blank eyes the colour of wet newspaper, making puppets the size of men, and clockwork roses. He loves his magic puppets, but hates the love of man for woman, boy for girl, brother for sister...

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Author information

Angela Carter was born in 1940. One of Britain's most original and disturbing writers, she died in 1992.

Review quote

'The boldest of English women writers' Lorna Sage 'Her writing is pyrotechnic -- fuelled with ideas, packed with images and spangling the night with her starry language' Observer

Editorial reviews

Carter's second novel, first published in 1967, is set against the oppressive backdrop of a most bizarre household, complete with toyshop and puppet theatre. Fifteen-year-old Melanie and her younger siblings are thrust into this bleak, isolated world of their uncle's house, in an obscure part of South London, and have to cope with their new surroundings. With an extraordinary and intense characterization the novel plunges the reader into a vivid tale of youthful innocence, power struggles and family kinship. Winner of the 1967 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. (Kirkus UK)