Critical Evaluation

(Masterpieces of British Fiction)

MEMOIRS OF A MIDGET is a highly original novel that mingles poetry and social criticism. Exquisitely written, it has an unfailing charm and interest. The careful and exact use of the proper perspective throughout the thoughtfully executed work is remarkable. Nor can the reader fail to note the veiled criticisms of society that the author puts into the mouth of tiny Miss M.

Two gardens in MEMOIRS OF A MIDGET are of interest because in them Miss M. has her most memorable experiences. One garden is the forested, flowered area at Wanderlore, her family home in Kent. The other is the wooded park near Mrs. Bowater’s home.

During her childhood, Miss M. enjoys the company of small animals and insects in the family garden. Here, too, she searches the treetops looking for Paradise, the first indication of her awareness of something beyond her small world. She also learns about death for the first time when she sees a dead mole. Later, when she is living at Mrs. Bowater’s house, Miss M. discovers that the woods nearby are an excellent place for viewing stars. The dark sky spangled with stars gives her a feeling that a great Being is in charge of the universe. She is surprised to learn that the sense of peace and order she gains there is not shared by Fanny, who dislikes the spot when she visits it with Miss M.

In these woods, Miss M. becomes acquainted with Mr. Anon. She finds him unattractive in appearance but pleasant...

(The entire section is 420 words.)