# 42550


[LAW] Truant Bunny

$400.00 AUD

London : Dean & Son, c. 1860. “Papa Lovechild’s series”. Octavo, illustrated wrappers, short split to bottom of spine; pp. 8, printed on one side only, full-page illustrations throughout, with original hand colouring; a very good to fine copy.

To modern sensibilities – and probably for children of the time – this morality tale about the potential consequences for a child who decides to play truant from school one day is quite terrifying. An innocent young hare falls in with a band of criminal foxes and ends up taking the rap for their poaching activities. Caught seemingly red-handed in the foxes’ hideout, he is given no opportunity to protest his innocence, nor does the “ape judge” show him any compassion or leniency. His sentence? Death by hanging. Yes, that’s the way the story ends – poor Bunny is led to the gibbet by the “ox hangman”, and is executed. This early reader speaks volumes about the moral climate of Dickensian Britain, its intractable justice system and the harshness of its penal code.