The title of this painting is taken from a series of moralising tales for children written by Maria Edgworth in 1823. Rosamund decides to buy a large jar of purple liquid she had seen in a chemist’s shop window, rather than a new pair of shoes. In this painting her delight turns to dismay as she realises that she will be confined indoors because her shoes are too uncomfortable to wear.
Edgworth was writing at a time when nearly all literature intended for children was didactic in intention, though these moral tales remain very popular today.
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