I’ve just discovered these deliciously creepy Frozen Charlotte dolls and have been doing a bit of research on their history.
They were first made in the 1850s in Germany and marketed as children’s toys. Some of them were sold in little coffins with shrouds.
They were sometimes baked in cakes and puddings.
After they became popular, they were associated with a poem about a young woman named Charlotte who froze to death when she refused to wear a cloak on a sleigh ride with her sweetheart.
“A Corpse Going to a Ball”
[CW - racist slur (censored)]
“O, daughter dear,” her mother cried,
“This blanket ‘round you fold;
It is a dreadful night tonight,
You’ll catch your death of cold.”
“O, nay! O, nay!” Young Charlotte cried,
And she laughed like a g**** queen;
“To ride in blankets muffled up,
I never would be seen.”
~Seba Smith 1840.
The poem inspired the folk song “Fair Charlotte”..
“He took her hand in his - O, God!
‘Twas cold and hard as stone;
He tore the mantle from her face,
Cold stars upon it shone.
Then quickly to the glowing hall,
Her lifeless form he bore;
Fair Charlotte’s eyes were closed in death,
Her voice was heard no more.