Earlier this week Diane from Always Crave Cute posted the wonderful poem 'A Fairy Went A-Marketing'. (I'm not going to reproduce the poem here as Diane did it so beautifully). Diane's version was one I had not seen before but it immediately made me think of the illustrations for the poem I was familiar with as a child. I've mentioned before how sometimes I see something online and it triggers an almost overwhelming memory from childhood (Carlotta Edwards is a good example.) This is another instance of this happening.
When I was a child I had at least three books illustrated by Hilda Boswell that I can remember. Unfortunately I only seem to have one left in my possession and it is not the book that contained this particular poem.
The book I still have is called Nursery Rhyme-Land and it was given to my sister Melanie and me in 1966 by our grandparents. (My granny always wrote an inscription inside the front cover and included the date.)
For me Hilda Boswell is synonymous with nursery rhymes. I can't think of a nursery rhyme without picturing her illustrations. This one (One, Two, Buckle My Shoe) is a perfect example of how wonderfully she depicted fairies. These small dainty creatures are perfect because they are shown in miniature. The fairy I can remember from 'A Fairy Went A-Marketing' was very similar to the detail show here.
This illustration of 'Hush-a-Bye Baby' has always been one of my favourites.
These two wonderfully ethereal fairies are exquisite. I've always thought of them as angels.
There are so many beautiful examples from this book it is difficult to chose a handful to include here. . .
And this is the one that always broke my heart when I was small . . .
The cover of the book:
Hilda Boswell (1903-1976) was the daughter of an architect. Besides her wonderful nursery illustrations (1940's-60's) she also contributed to British comic papers and a number of children's annuals such as Robin (1958) and Swift (1960). Her preferred medium was watercolour. She is also very well known for her dust jackets for Enid Blyton novels.
Some of you may remember I previously posted illustrations from a book called 'My Book of Fairy Stories' (1959) which did not acknowledge the artist. (Marvellous Mermaids and Birthday Thoughts are the two posts that contain these lovely pictures). I'm starting to wonder now if they are not the work of Hilda Boswell - the watercolour technique and artistic style is very evocative of her art.
Foraging for Lunch!
Although the days are getting noticeably shorter this morning was glorious and we had some marvellous sunshine. For the past few weekends I've thoroughly enjoyed picking my own fresh produce from the garden and greenhouses. There is nothing nicer than taking just what you need when you need it! I've gone mad about home-grown tomatoes and salad leaves eaten on crispy rolls with blocks of Mediterranean goat's cheese. My husband is baffled why I don't want to add cold meat or anything else but that would spoil the wonderfully pure simplicity of my meal . There is also something richly harmonious about the colour combination of green, red and white!
The only thing I don't have this year is home grown basil. I've never been able to keep the plants alive for very long. (Any tips greatly appreciated!)