Admittedly, Kim by Rudyard Kipling was much different from our earlier readings (fairy tales, script-like pieces, etc.), but not very surprising in general for the time period. This was the time of Peter Pan, Wizard of Oz and Anne of Green Gables. In fact, I spent the whole time reading it comparing it to other pieces of the time.
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett was one of the books. While this book was written a few years after Kim, they still have a quite a few similarities/parallels. While Kim is about an orphaned boy who is forced into a world of English lifestyle that he does not want (he would rather stay with the Tibetan Lama), A Little Princess is about a little English girl who goes to a bordering school while her father is a soldier, but when he dies the little girl is forced into being a house servant. Both are brought back to their original worlds by the end of the books, each having learned something different. The format is very much the similar. I’m sure I would find more similarities if I read them side by side.
There’s another similarity between books of the time that I pointed out at a very young age after my mother had read me a series of books (A Little Princess, Anne of Green Gables, and A Secret Garden):
“Does every book have mommies dying?”
And really they do: Kim, A Little Princess, Anne of Green Gables, A Secret Garden, Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, etc. In each of these books, one or both parents have died leaving the children to deal with the deaths and the circumstances that follow in different fashions. It is an interesting notion that might a variety of reasons behind them. It gives the main characters something that needs to be worked through emotionally, it gives reason to a change in circumstances, etc.
Has any one else noticed this with reading from that era?
(While normally I add links, this time I was running a little short on time and did not. I'll place a book list later this week for those interested in these pieces. )