The Great Fairy Science (from “The Water Babies” by Charles Kingsley)

Although Charles Kingley’s 1863 children’s novel has fallen from favor, his image of the Great Fairy Science – “who is likely to be queen of all the fairies for many a year to come” – might serve as an icon for certain nontheistic practices of magick. It’s a fun coincidence that the word “steam”, proudly emblazoned on the fairy’s midriff, can also be read as STEAM, the currently popular acronym for “Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics”.

The illustration is by the artist Linley Sambourne and first appeared in the 1889 edition of The Water Babies, published by MacMillan & Co.

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