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The Blue Bird

Maurice Maeterlinck

Georgette Leblanc


Mytyl and Tyltyl, the children of Mummy and Daddy Tyl, are spending their Christmas Eve gazing at the extravagant party of their rich neighbors, when suddenly the door flies open to reveal an old fairy. She explains that she’s looking for the Blue Bird—the only thing that will save her sick daughter—and enlists the children to help her in her quest. The children, with the aid of the family cat and dog whom the fairy has given the power of speech, readily agree to the undertaking.

Maurice Maeterlinck was a Belgian author whose work was highly regarded; indeed, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1911 with special recognition given to his dramatic works. His play The Blue Bird premiered in 1908, and the prose version for children presented here was written by his lover Georgette Leblanc five years later. The story has been further adapted to film, television and radio many times, including a role for Shirley Temple as Mytyl. This production was translated to English by Alexander Teixera de Mattos, notable for also translating many Arsène Lupin novels for Maurice Leblanc: Georgette Leblanc’s brother.

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