Monday, 15 June 2015

Telling Tales

Tale - A fictitious or true narrative or story, especially one that is imaginatively recounted: 
‘a delightful children’s tale’
‘tales of witches and warlocks’

 Definition from the English Oxford dictionary.

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The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a collection of stories written for young wizards and witches. They were popular bedtime stories for centuries, with the result that The Wizard and the Hopping Pot and The Fountain of Fair Fortune were as familiar to many of the students at Hogwarts as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty are to Muggles. 


In 2007, one of only seven original handwritten copies was offered for auction through Sotheby’s selling for £1.95 million. Sadly, I don’t have one of the handwritten editions, but I do have a first printed edition which I’m offering together with an original catalogue from the Sotheby’s auction.  

The shelves at March House Books have lots of other tales to tell, here are just a few of them;


Uncle's Tales Published by Thomas Nelson c1928. A collection of eight tales including The Fairy Muffin Man by Phyllis Megroz with illustrations by A. H. Watson and Tommy and the gingerbread by Evelyn Hardy with illustrations by Honor C Appleton. Colour frontis and approximately thirty seven black-and-white  pictures by various illustrators including Florence Mary Anderson. 




Grandad's Tales : Favourite Stories and Rhymes written by Eddie Clarke with illustrations by Vin Mifsud.

A treasure chest full of delightful tales. First story My Magic Yellow Chair, other stories Include Giant Mountain and Queenie the Collie.  









Sleeping Beauty & Other Favourite Fairy Tales selected by Angela Carter and illustrated by Michael Foreman. London Victor Gollancz 1991. Several tales including Little Red Riding Hood, Puss in Boots, Bluebeard, Donkey-skin and Cinderella.  

Tales of Babar told by Enid Blyton. Methuen Modern Classics Series. First published in September 1942 this a second edition 1945. Tales of Babar told by Enid Blyton with black-and-white illustrations by Olive F. Openshaw.  The life-story of Babar the most lovable of elephants. Editors note - Enemy Action during the War reduced to ashes a large proportion of those delightfully coloured sheets in which the genius of Jean de Brunhoff, and the skill of the colour-printer had combined to immortalize his career. However, Babar is not easy to blitz. In the Babar story-book, he returns triumphant and with a full-length biography by Miss Enid Blyton. This volume comprises the first half of the Babar story-book with three stories - the story of Babar, Babar's travels and Babar the King.  

Old Fashioned Tales selected by E. V. Lucas and illustrated by F. D. Bedford. Published by Wells Gardner Darton & Co Ltd c1905. Compilation including the Inquisitive girl, the Robbers Cave, the Misses, the Sea Voyage, the Changeling and the Oyster Patties. 


Enid Blyton's Treasury of Tales; Four books in slipcase. The stories are Hoo Hoo's party, My nut I think, What no cheese and the wizard's needle each illustrated by Rene Cloke.






Tales from the Story-Teller's House by Thornton W. Burgess Published by John Lane The Bodley Head in 1937. Sixteen stories including the Joy of the Beautiful Pine, It Really Happened, the Old House, Cold Toes and a new tail, Mrs. Possum's big Pocket and Fussy Folk. Eight full-page  colour illustrations by Lemuel Palmer. 

I hope you've enjoyed these tall tales. 


Update July 2016: March House books closed on my retirement in 2015, but I do still blog here at March of Time Books and always appreciate your visit. 

37 comments:

  1. Good morning Barbara, Fascinating reading I am sure but alas I am a sci-fi fan. Although I do find newer authors don't tell it like those of the past. Having said that I must add that your writing is always lively and interesting and a pleasure to read.

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    1. Hi John, it’s lovely of you to take the time to read my posts especially as they are not something you are really interested in. I don’t get many (if any) science fiction books, which is a shame because if I did I would be sure to feature them. The only thing that comes anywhere close to your interest is this post done by a guest blogger back in 2012. http://marchhousebookscom.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/guest-post-future-illustrations-from.html#comment-form

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  2. Ooh, so many beautiful books!

    My daughter has a copy of J K Rowling's book, sadly it isn't a hand written one either, but gorgeous, all the same. I haven't actually read it, but feel inspired to do so now.

    Have a wonderful day :) x

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    1. Thank you!

      I’ve not read it either, but I have another copy that I intend to keep and read. I’ve read all the HP books so don’t want to miss out on this one.

      Shame you don’t have a hand written one – it would be worth a fortune now.

      Have a lovely rest of the day, Barbara

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  3. Ooh, Donkey Skin, not a story I'm familiar with.

    Another great selection, thank you.

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    1. Hi Tracy, it sounds a bit odd doesn't it? It starts out much like any other fairy tale (king, beautiful wife, castle – and a magical donkey whose droppings are pure gold) The King’s wife dies and in time, he is persuaded to seek another wife, but the only woman he is interested in is his own daughter. The daughter seeksout her fairy godmother who advises her to make impossible demands on her father as a condition of her consent – she must ask for a dress the colour of the sky, a dress the colour of the moon, a dress as bright as the sun and finally the hide of his magical donkey ….

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  4. Good morning Barbara! WOW, that handwritten copy of The Beetle and the Bard....that has fetched quite a bit of cash even though she is still alive! What a treasure she has found in this life! But look at the other lovelies that you have here...such a joy to discover all the color and magic created over many,many years.

    I hope you are well! We have been on holiday at the beach in Northern California and we are loving every single day.

    LOVE! Anita

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    1. Dear Anita, I am really well, thank you for asking. I’m so glad you are enjoying your holiday, much love and many hugs to you my dear! xx

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  5. I want ALL those books! But where would I put them? Maybe a solution would be to come work in your shop, then I could be surrounded by them all day long, read them, handle them and not have to take them. Love, love, love all these beautiful books.

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    1. Hello Bish, I’m running out of room too, and I’m afraid I don’t have a shop – just a small book room. Owning a book shop has long been a dream of mine, and I know exactly how it would look. There would be three or four comfy chairs, books stacked on shelves and spilling onto the floor, a cat or a dog to keep me company and lots of friends (like you) sitting around chatting about and enjoying books. I can’t make up my mind if there should be music or not? What do you think? Thanks for your visit. Xx

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  6. What a great collection. I´m sure they will be bought up quickly. I was not aware of the JK Rowling books. I would visit your bookshop for sure!

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    1. Hello Darlene, the story behind the tales of Beedle the bard is quite interesting – the title first appeared in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In that story the book is bequeathed to Hermione Granger by Albus Dumbledore and is described as a popular collection of Wizarding children’s fairy tales. In J. K Rowling’s introduction she tells us the fictional character Beedle the Bard was born in Yorkshire, lived in the 15th century, and had a luxuriant beard. That alone is enough to make me want to read it!

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  7. What a lovely selection of books! I love Thornton W. Burgess.

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    1. Thanks Trish, glad you enjoyed them.

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  8. Wow Barbara what a selection of books with beautiful illustrations. Like Bish Denham said I would love to have these books but where would I put them? :-) I wish i had a bookshop like yours close to me.

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    1. I’m happy to share them Shashi, and you don’t need any space for ‘virtual books’. Have a super day. Barbara x

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  9. The Babar book in particular looks fascinating from a historical point of view. I never knew that there was a connection between Babar and Enid Blyton! I have a few of my grandparents' books from the wartime, and it's interesting to see which measures were taken to save money in the publishing process.

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    1. Hi Sue, I had no idea either and was very surprised when I saw her name on the cover. According to the Enid Blyton Society … Jean de Brunhoff wrote the books about Babar the elephant and they became popular in many countries. As she has done with other classics, Enid Blyton seized on the Babar stories and produced her own version in late 1941 which was promptly reprinted a second and third time in the same year... I don’t know about you but I learn something new every day. Thanks for calling in, Barbara.

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  10. My son loved his copy of Tales of Beedle the Bard but was one of the few who didn't become a HP fan! M x

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    1. Hello Marina, I was addicted to Harry Potter for a while – read all the books (other than Beedle) at the same time as my grandsons. It was fun to compare notes with them. Thanks for coming over, Barbara x

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    2. i also love harry potter books :)

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    3. Hello potterfan thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment. I see there is a new HP book coming out soon, something to look forward to.

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  11. It's interesting how the style of illustrating changes over the years. The thirties produced a style that was realistic, yet soft in its palette of colors. I wonder how that affects children who look at the pictures. It would be an interesting psychological study. I would think that not only do they take the child to wonderful places of imagination but could also have a calming effect at the end of the day. Maybe. It'd be interesting to read a study on it.

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    1. Hello Sharon, I’m sure there must have been studies over the years. There have certainly been many books written about children’s illustrators. Picture books played an important part in my childhood, and I’ve remembered the illustrations long after the stories have faded away.

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  12. So much fun to see all these long ago books. Thornton Burgess grew up in the same town where my grandparents later lived. Your cozy bookshop dream sounds lovely. As for music in a bookshop, I would like it if it could be just barely heard in the background. That way I could choose to listen if I wanted, but not be distracted by it otherwise.

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    1. Hi Marcia, I’m glad you are enjoying the books and thank you for persevering with commenting – it can be a real pain sometimes. Your preference re music noted – thank you, and I have to say I’m in agreement with you. Barbara

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  13. As a teller of tales both tall and true, I absorb your posts and am always inspired by the illustrations and photos.

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    1. That’s a lovely thing to say, thank you Eve.

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  14. Hi Barbara, I always love reading about the books you have, so interesting, and some I've never heard of living over here in the States... The illustrations always amaze me as they are just gorgeous works of art and I love to look at them. I think I would keep them all if I had room. Have a lovely week my friend!

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    1. Hi Diane, you have no idea how I long for a large library where I could keep them all – or a nice big shop (with a section for my own collection) would do! Enjoy your week Barbara x

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  15. Look at all those tales! So many gorgeous books. I have a copy of Beetle the Bard (though not one of the special ones done by JK Rowling, nor a first printing). I do enjoy the tales. All of the other tales are new to me, but boy do they look fun. I love seeing the different covers and illustrations. :)

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    1. Hi Stephanie, how funny I’ve also got a copy of Beedle the bard on my must-read pile. Mine isn’t a 1st either!
      It’s lovely to know you are enjoying the covers. Thanks for visiting Barbara

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  16. Hello Barbara, sorry I've been missing the past week. I love your collection here as always, especially the one with the boy on a boat with his dog (is that Tommy and the Gingerbread?) and Sleeping Beauty (I like Michael Foreman's works). I've been clearing out books on my shelves and I have to confess I'm quite strict (or suave) because only those I consider 'Tops' get to stay. The books I have from you, of course, are cherished, properly dusted and placed back on the shelves! The rest that are still in okay condition will be donated to the library to find new homes.

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    1. Hello Claudine, there is really no need to say sorry. We all have so many other things to do these days it’s hard to keep up with everything. It is lovely to see you whenever you call – every week, once a month or once a year!
      The illustration is titled The Fairy Boat. It's very pretty, but sadly its not from Tommy and the Gingerbreads. I’ve checked all the other stories, and the illustration doesn’t appear to go with any of them. It’s quite likely the publisher decided it was a nice picture and used it as a frontis even though it really has nothing whatsoever to do with the book. Publishers often used the same illustrations in lots of books. I suppose it saved money.
      Thank you for cherishing the books sent from me - it makes my heart happy to know that. xx

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  17. Again A wonderful post Barbara and what a lovely place a blog is as I can back and read all the posts I have missed during my sort of a forced break !
    I loved the title " Tales from the storyteller's house" :) And this post has many 'firsts' for me - I never knew about Uncle's Tales or GrandDad's Tales ... as well as about the JK Rowling's Beedle The Bard one !
    So thank you for this wonderful and informative post dear :) Hope you had a good time :)

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    1. Hello Kokila, welcome back – I’ve missed you. Barbara

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  18. You are too sweet. Of course, I love Beedle the Bard. Well, I love any book. It's my passion, maybe even an addiction. lol I've never seen that cover of Sleeping Beauty.

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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