Saturday, 21 July 2007

The Land of Nursery Rhyme by Alice Daglish

Alice Daglish was the first wife of my father, Eric Fitch Daglish. Born Alice Archer in 1896, she married my father in 1918 toward the end of the First World War. They had three children - two sons (twins) and a daughter. Alice died in January 2000, aged 103.

The Land of Nursery Rhyme was a book that Alice worked on with Ernest Rhys (1859-1946), a friend of the family who was a writer and founding editor of the Everyman’s Library series. This series, published by J.M. Dent in the UK and E.P. Dutton in the US, published classic book titles at an affordable price. The aim of the series was to publish 1,000 titles, in batches of ten titles at a time. The target was eventually reached in 1956, ten years after Rhys died.

The Land of Nursery Rhyme was first published in 1932, containing drawings by Charles Folkard (1879-1963), an illustrator of children's books.

These included some very rich, colour illustrations of particular rhymes - such as the one shown for "Ride A Cock Horse To Banbury Cross". Later editions and re-prints of the book did not contain all of these full colour illustrations.

In a sign of the times that it was written, in the introduction the authors note:

“Here are the favourite old Nursery Rhymes along with some others which are more or less new … The very latest of all is one about a Flying-man.”

Flying-man, Flying-man,
Up in the sky,
Where are you going to,
Flying so high?

Over the mountains,
And over the sea -!
Flying-man, Flying-man,
Can't you take me?

A later book "A Christmas Holiday Book" was published in 1934, this time with illustrations by Mary Shillabeer.


Anonymous said...

Hi! I just thought I'd drop you a quick line as requested. I'm a rare book expert. I just came across a copy of The Land of Nursery Rhyme (it's a lovely book, in my opinion), and I was looking to see if there was any biographical information available on Alice Daglish. That led me to you. Thank you! It's always nice to run across a picture; it makes one feel more connected with the books.

Anonymous said...

I was given "The land of N.R." in 1949 (I was 2).It was one of the few books I & my brother & sister had & consequently read over & over.
My sister bought the new edition (Orion)& was moved to tears at the sight of it, as it was such a huge part of our childhood.
Sue Bates Leics.

Jamie (jamie_mcc at said...

Charles Folkard was my great great uncle - I have the signed copy he gave to my grandmother (his niece/goddaughter) in 1934, it has a photo of them in the front. We used to read the book as kids. I have one of his paintings from Arabian nights at home too! V talented ancestor... :-)

Anonymous said...

After my mum died I found this book from 1946. My husband was looking at it and saw golden slumbers. We think the beatles used a part of this song.