Author sparks Twitter storm claiming Humpty Dumpy was NOT an egg – but do you know what he really was?
- Author Holly Bourne has questioned why Humpty Dumpty is considered an egg
- 19th Century writer Lewis Carroll was the first to draw Humpty Dumpty as such
- The depiction has stuck through the centuries – but there is no egg in the lyrics
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It’s a nursery rhyme many of us know by heart.
But a baffled author has sparked up a Twitter storm – questioning why we believe Humpty Dumpty is an egg.
In a viral post, writer Holly Bourne, of London, wrote: ‘Who decided Humpty Dumpty was an egg?’
‘It’s not in the lyrics, and deciding he’s a giant egg is quite a random leap for someone to make, and everyone else being like, “Yeah, a giant egg on a wall. Of course”.’
Humpty Dumpty (drawn here by Milo Winter) is often depicted as an egg. It is believed Lewis Caroll was the first to do this
The famous lyrics go, Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again.
Holly, who writes for adults and teenagers, continued: ‘Also, imagine having NO ARMY because they’re busy fixing a broken egg.
‘The king sent literally EVERYONE out to save the giant egg who isn’t actually an egg, leaving the realm wide open for attack.’
Her post attracted 455,000 views, with some thanking her for drawing attention to the nonsensical nursery rhyme.
And many also highlighted what is believed to be the real Humpty Dumpty – stating it was in fact a cannon used in the English Civil War.
Many on Twitter thanks Holly for drawing attention to actual lyrics, with one saying it made no sense having horses try and fix an egg
One wrote: ‘Humpty Dumpty was a cannon that fell off a wall.’
Another wrote: ‘It was a cannon in Chichester.’
The nursery rhyme was first recorded in England in the late 18th Century.
It is believed it it referenced a large cannon used during the English Civil War fought between 1642 and 1649.
Towards the end of the war, a big cannon was was used in Chichester to bombard the roundheads or parliamentary forces in a bid to stop Charles I ruling the country without consent.
The parliamentary forces then attacked the cannon with fire of their own, making it tumble to the ground.
The lyrics then refer to the kings men – the royalist supporters in support of King Charles I – being unable to fix the canon.
However, it is believed that 19th Century author Lewis Caroll was the first to depict Humpty Dumpty as an egg in his 1871 book Through the Looking-Glass.
And since then, Humpty Dumpty as an egg has been the prevailing view.
On Twitter, Holly wrote that the egg was ‘non-cannonical madness we’ve blindly accepted.’
Many then comment that it made no sense having horses put together an egg.
While others highlighted that there were other misleading elements in literature, such as there being no balcony in Romeo and Juliet.
One wrote however, that it was a metaphor.
They wrote: ‘Egg shells are notoriously fragile and known to crack.’
While another wrote: ‘It always made sense to me. The egg was used as a metaphor for something that cannot be fixed.’
Many of the users agreed that it made no sense. But some thought the egg was a good metaphor as eggs break easily
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