POEM: Mary Howitt – The Spider and The Fly

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The Spider and the Fly is a poem by Mary Howitt published in 1829.

The story tells of a cunning Spider who ensnares a naive Fly through the use of seduction and flattery. The poem is a cautionary tale against those who use flattery and charm to disguise their true evil intentions.

When Lewis Carroll was readying Alice’s Adventures Under Ground for publication he replaced a parody he had made of a negro minstrel song with a parody of Howitt’s poem.

The “Lobster Quadrille”, in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is a parody of Howitt’s poem; it mimics the meter and rhyme scheme, and parodies the first line, but not the subject matter, of the original.

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