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"The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg"
by Florence Upton

In 1895 Florence Upton and her mother Bertha produced the book entitled "The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg". Florence provided the illustrations and Bertha wrote the verses.

The story opens in a toy store on Christmas Eve. As midnight strikes, the toys come to life and begin to frolic.

"The Adventures of two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg" by Florence Upton
"The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg" by Florence Upton

Among them are several “Dutch” dolls, also called “penny-woodens,” which have jointed limbs so that they can be arranged in various poses for sketching (often used by artists as models, the sexless dolls can be gendered and clothed as one wishes.) The two larger dolls, “Peg” and “Sarah Jane,” immediately set about making themselves outfits out of an (illegally) ripped up American flag. Peg uses “the motherly stripes” and Sarah Jane the pretty stars. The other, smaller doll characters, the twins, Meg and Weg, remain unclothed, as does the tiny “Midget”.

As the toys prepare to dance, they hear a sound:

“They all look round, as well they may to see a horrid sight!
The blackest gnome
Stands there alone
They scatter in their fright.”

"With kindly smile he nearer draws;
Begs them to feel no fear.
'What is your name?' Cries Sarah Jane;
'The "Golliwogg" my dear.”

“Their fears allayed - each takes an arm,
While up and down they walk;
With sidelong glance Each tries her chance,
And charms him with 'small talk'.”

Far from being a menace, the Golliwogg invites Sarah Jane to dance, sparing her the embarrassment of being left a wallflower. In another scene a rude jack-in-the-box springs up and frightens the “lovely Sarah”.

The dolls eventually leave the shop and engage in a snowball fight by a frozen pond.

The Golliwogg falls through the pond’s ice and is rescued by the Dutch dolls who carry him back to the toy shop. At dawn the toys all resume their appointed places in the shop and all ends well.

Read the book online at Project Gutenberg

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