A Childlike Interlude: A Girl For All Time’s Matilda

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So…I bought a[nother] doll.

Before you ask: no, this is not about to turn into a doll collecting blog. (There’s no way I could afford such a lifestyle, much as it tempts me!) But after my American Girl nostalgia trip a few weeks ago, I wondered what indie alternatives to such commercialized dolls existed. Over the course of my research, I discovered A Girl for All Time, a U.K. company that creates detailed, sophisticated dolls and prizes historical accuracy. I fell in love with these dolls because of their sweet faces, which lack the sometimes-unnerving open mouths, blinking eyes, and bared teeth of their competitors.

I felt a little odd about investing in a doll as a twenty-something Supposed Adult, but I’ve come to think of it as a curatorial, art-collector-esque decision. Matilda, my Girl of All Time of choice, really is a work of art, and she certainly makes a good subject for outdoor photography here in Hawai’i.

(I’m also justifying a self-present of such a collector’s item by claiming that it’s my duty as a historian to review historically-mindful dolls. Obviously.)

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I ordered Matilda on Amazon–in an ideal world, I’d prefer to support the company directly, except shipping a weighty doll-in-a-box was so much easier to do domestically!

She arrived protected in this beautifully decorated packaging.

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The company’s logo and the general flourishes and ornamentation around the box are gorgeously designed. I’d probably wear a dress with a novelty print featuring those butterflies, pears, mirrors, and floral motifs.

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Each Girl for All Time pays tribute to a memorable period of British history. Matilda, dressed in full Tudor garb, kicks off the series with velvet-and-pearl sixteenth-century opulence.

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I didn’t keep her in the Tudor regalia forever, though, because I wanted to determine if she could wear the Stardust Classics clothes that belonged to my childhood dolls. Though Matilda is a 16″ doll and a bit thinner than the Stardust ladies, she fits their sleeveless dresses quite well. Because she has a slimmer vinyl body, she would probably be swimming in American Girl clothes.

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I think her blue-grey eyes are lovely…

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…especially when she’s dressed in a similar shade of blue and out exploring the forests of Volcano!

All in all, Matilda is one of the most beautiful dolls I’ve ever encountered, and I am smitten with A Girl For All Time’s mission. Their current line-up includes, in addition to Matilda, a Victorian girl, a Georgian young lady, a brave 1940s evacuee, a hip kid from the 60s and two contemporary dolls. Of course, if I had my way, I’d love to see a Regency-ish girl who loves literature and dreams of meeting her idol, Mary Shelley. Or an Edwardian doll who visits Belle Epoque Paris to hang out with Post-Impressionists.

In any case, this historian-and-doll-collector is very excited to see what A Girl for All Time does next!

2 thoughts on “A Childlike Interlude: A Girl For All Time’s Matilda

  1. How lovely she is! The Girl for All Time dolls look a bit eerie, but so very distinct in their features, I love it! I’m on a lengthy bus ride atm anyway so I’ll have a closer look at their page now. Thanks for sharing and happy holidays!

    • I agree, there is something a little uncanny about them–which is what drew me in! I love how they look like they are just slightly not-of-this-world (or perhaps simply from another time). Have a safe bus ride and happy holidays to you too! 🙂

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