by Danny Garrett, Austin, Texas
The narrative continues and we arrive at a significant turning point. Princess April is about to leave the protection of the Enchanted Forest and foray out into the ‘real’ world, or as Letitia calls it, the “Great World.”
And it is here, that she inserts an interesting illumination of it. She chose to depict a bit of the North American continent just north of around the 40th parallel to the top of the world. What is interesting here is that while she depicts areas of Greenland, the US, Alaska, and Canada in green, the easternmost bit of Asia/Siberia is colored red. This coloration is almost prescient, anticipating a ‘Cold War’ configuration, with that region within the borders of the USSR. In 1941, the year of this book’s copyright, that geo-political reality was still at least a half-decade away. In a visually semiotic sense this is quite significant, and speaks volumes about the author’s engagement with the world of her time.
Other illuminations are new and unique, while still others are familiar. Both show another form of visual semiotics – a consistency of pairing signature illuminations with respective words. The words,
“fairy” and “fairy children” are now coupled with shining stars, while the word “Princess” occurs under a specific, and consistent, coronet. The blue butterfly makes an encore appearance, while other unique illuminations appear for the first time. “Forest” receives an illumination that almost appears to be redwoods and/or sequoias that are native to California. Webs, cup and saucer, along with stand-alone wings round out the illuminations on this page.