Saturday, 21 May 2011

Joan and the Fairies

Continuing with more original childrens book illustration art work with these delightful pen and ink pictures by Freda Mabel Rose drawn to accompany a rhyming story called Joan and the Fairies. These pictures are very sweet and remind me of the work of Mabel Lucie Attwell and Hilda Cowham

I have been struggling a little bit to find out about this artist. This is a common problem with commercial artists rather than exhibiting artist. Unless they happen to make it big like Arthur Rackham or Mabel Lucie Attwell or illustrated a time less book, like E H Sheppard and Pooh Bear; then they sink with trace. All that they leave behind a few pictures in forgotten publications.

Times are changing, the internet is wonderful research tool to find those relation or enthusiasts who still have the knowledge.

Joan and the Fairies

Now, children, listen to my tale,
It is a tale of long ago,
When fairies still were to be seen,
And now and then themselves did shew.

There dwelt once in a little town
A little girl, whose name was Joan,
And more than once she had been told
She must not stray from home alone.

However, once in summertime
('Twas on a lovely, sunny day)
The sunshine tempted her from home,
And out she went and lost her way.

She thought, as you and I have done,
That well she knew her way about,
But soon she turned to right, to left
And lost her way, there was no doubt.


She got into a lovely field,
A field that it was good to see,
So full it was of grass and flowers,
And in the centre stood a tree.

Now joan was hot and Joan was tired,
It seemed to her she'd walked for hours;
She strolled up to the shady tree,
And on her wya she plucked some flowers.

Her hat she took from off her head,
And stretched herself out in the shade;
She nodded..... nodded..... fell asleep,
So tired was our little maid.

She must have slept a long, long time,
For it was dusk when she awoke;
She rubbed her eyes and yet once more,
Whatever were those tiny folk?

They crowded round her, came quite close,
They touched her frock, her face, her hair;
They climbed right up into the tree,
And seemed to be ...... well, everywhere.


Joan stared and taken by surprise,
She felt no fear, nor did she cry;
And closer pressed the little folk,
And closer yet..... they were not shy.

So perfect they in face and limb,
With lovely, shining, golden hair,
And once, the fairest of them all,
A tiny golden crown did wear.

She carried in her tiny hand
A sceptre, 'twas a lily tall;
Right royal was this Fairy Queen,
And they obeyed her, one and all.

Then spoke the Queen: "Come, Joan, my child,
I'll take you straight to Fairyland.
Now, come along, keep close behind,
And follow where you see my wand.

A few more steps and up they came
To where a hole shewed in the ground.
The Queen stepped in, Joan followed close,
And down they went without a sound.

Joan thought it must be very dark
Beneath the ground, but, dear me! no;
As bright as sunlit dayit was,
A thousand little lamps did glow.

Down, down they went a gentle slope
A hundres thousand feet and more;
At last they halted, and behold,
Before them loomed a scarlet door.

A tap, and open flew the door,
A rabbit there before them stood,
Dressed in green livery complete,
He bowed just as a footman would.

"Your Majesty, your tea is served
In the green dining room" he said.
The Fairy Queen took Joan's right hand,
And to a wondrous roon her led.

The walls were clothed in velvet moss,
The carpet was just growing grass,
The window-panes were crystal clear,
The table made of emerald glass.

The tea was served in acorn cups,
Of rose-leaves made was every plate;
They tied on feeders that were leaves,
And on them all did Bunny wait.

The rhyme was by Janet Ritchie from Cricklewood, London and she was paid 10/- . Both the illustrations and  rhyme were for the 1929 edition of  Our Kiddies Gift Book published by Renwicks of Otley.
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