Tuesday, 5 April 2016

The Fairy Tales of Perrault Illustrated by Harry Clarke

My bookshelves are lucky enough to hold a scarce dust jacketed copy of this beautiful book.  At time of writing, there is only one comparable copy (with the very scarce jacket) advertised on-line at a price which makes my eyes water!  Not wishing to make your eyes water I thought it would be a nice idea to share some of the beautiful images with you.

The Fairy Tales of Perrault with pictures by Harry Clarke (1889-1931), published by Harrap in 1922.

"He brought them home by the very same way they came"

"Fanny would rather be fair in drugget than be a queen with an ugly face"

I’m rather puzzled by the use of the word drugget in the above quote.  My understanding of drugget is a wool or partly wool fabric formerly used for clothing or a coarse cloth used as a floor covering or a cotton and wool rug. French droguet, diminutive of drogue trash.

I think it must imply that Fanny (rather an unfortunate name) would rather be fair and dressed in rags than ugly and dressed in finery.  Is that how you read it?

"Am I come hither to serve you with water, pray?" 


"The marquis gave his hand to the princess"

"He asked her whither she was going" 


"Away she drove, scarce able to contain herself for you" (Detail from)

"Any one but Cinderilla (Cinderella) would have dressed their heads awry" 


"Little Thumb was as good as his word, and returned that same night with the news"

"Riquet with the tuft appeared to her the finest prince upon earth"

"This man had the misfortune to have a blue beard"

Blue Beard


Thanks for calling in I hope your week is going well...

34 comments:

  1. What a wonderful book ... lucky you! M x

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    1. Hi Marina, lucky indeed! I bought it from a local auction about five years ago, paid more than I really wanted to but I'm so glad I did - I love it. x

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  2. My mum used the word drugget on me, but only when I was trying to impress the ladies and go out looking cool.

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    1. Your mum sounds like a very wise woman! :) I was completely flummoxed andI had to look it up on Google! It’s my new favourite word, and I will be using it at every opportunity.

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  3. Oh Barbara, you really know how to pull on my heart strings! As I was scrolling down, my memory rushed in like a flood; I suddenly remembered or rather relived a slice, a moment of my childhood. These particular illustrations are new to me but the STYLE, this is the style that both my husband and I seem to remember in our childhood experience. Again, you always share those illustrations with the utmost innocence. And I say this sincerely, these illustrations pull me in and I want to BE on that page. The colors, the gentle line drawings. Perfection.

    This was a perfect blog post for me to read and see as I sit here on this gloomy, cold and rainy afternoon. Hugs to you across the many miles.

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    1. Hello Anita, I understand exactly what you mean. The images have a kind of dreamlike quality to them, which does pull you in. I’ve spent many a happy hour lost in the pages of this treasure of a book.

      It is rainy in the UK too, although we are seeing glimpses of spring sunshine. I really enjoy this time of the year when everything is beginning to burst into life and there is a promise of warmer weather ahead.
      Have a lovely rest of the week, Barbara xx

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  4. Awesome illustrations! And what a book!

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  5. Such pretty illustrations... i actually have a different edition in black and white but these colored ones are so perfect and so very gorgeous :)

    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex

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    1. I've only seen the one version so am intrigued to find out more about yours. Have you shared it on your blog? I will be over in a bit to find out. Thanks for visiting, Barbara.

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  6. Well! Well! Well! All these years...And, l thought
    the Grimm Brothers were behind them all. Or as l
    say...'The Grimm World of the Brothers Wonderful':).
    I've spent the last hour reading up on this Charles
    Perrault...Amazing, well worth a look! In fact as a
    child, l was always told..Mia Mama..that fairy stories
    were written and told by Italians, not Sicilians mind,
    Italians! :). There ya go..Learn summat every day!

    The illustrations here are amazing...Lost for words...
    Unusual for me l know!!!
    But! The Marquis giving his hand...And, the man with
    the blue beard, are the very best. Love the way their
    dressed...THAT~IS~ME...My favourite era for fashion, is
    Regency! Love it! Back in my 20's l designed and had
    made a regency style suit...It was amazing! Wish l still
    had it!!! Frock coat and all! (Hang on..need another tea).

    And...Cinderella, or Cenerentola as l knew her..Was one of
    my favourites...Loved the hair!
    And, Little Red Riding Hood...HeHe! I always felt sorry for
    the wolf, wished he'd eaten her as well as the grandmother!
    I ought to get round to writing some of my own 'made up'
    fairy stories l used to tell my daughter, when she got fed
    up of the Ladybird books!

    Great post Barbara...I'll shall certainly be back, a few
    times to~day, to take another look. Will forward this
    link to my daughter to! Thankyou! :).

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    1. I always felt sorry for the wolf as well, that horrible wood cutter should have been punished for his crimes against animals. What was Red Riding Hood’s mother thinking of sending that poor child off into the woods alone? Hehe – I spent most of my childhood playing in deep, dark woods, and it didn’t do me any harm – and I never met a wolf, although I did meet one or two in sheep’s clothing!

      You really must write those stories down Willie, it would be a crime not to! I wonder how many of the stories your daughter remembers. I'm willing to bet most of them. Some of my happiest memories are of my dad reading to me. He didn’t make the stories up himself, but that didn’t matter it was just spending time with him at the end of the day. I loved my dear old dad and still miss him even though he died more than thirty years ago.

      Get writing Willie, none of us know how much time we have left - oh dear, I had better go now I'm getting maudlin. :)

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  7. HeHe! Strangest thing with my daughter, and we
    still laugh about it to this day!
    When l started reading stories from books, and
    with the different characters....I'd give each
    character a different voice! After a couple pages
    my daughter would say "read it properly Daddy, read
    it properly". So l had to read it in the same boring
    old voice. But, as she got older, she got the idea,
    and, enjoyed me reading a good story. Then she got
    fed up with the same old books/stories, so l made a
    lot up...HeHe! She loved one about a penguin..But,
    that's 'another' story...! :).

    HaHa! Don't know how much time l have left...But, l've
    ordered that pink funeral carriage..and the horses...!!!

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  8. A pink funeral carriage - I never doubted it Willie!
    Terry is a freelance photographer for The Gazette and the Blackmore Vale, but they don’t send him to Blandford – hence you will need to let me know when you are thinking of checking out so he can come and capture some pics for you – I will need a forwarding address or email. Although I’m sure they would reach you at Willie.Wine @ Heaven.com. Don’t make it anytime soon though!!!

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  9. LOVE this post, Barbara. What a beautiful, beautiful book. Thanks for sharing your treasure!

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    1. My pleasure Marcia, thank you for taking a look. Barbara

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  10. Gorgeous illustrations. What a treasure!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed them. Thanks for coming over.

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  11. My week is going well, Barbara, and now with this post, it's even better! Love the colour combinations in the pages, and the details in the black & white pages. Your interpretation of that Fanny quote is exactly what I thought, too. Thank you for not making our eyes water, my dear friend. Hope your week goes beautifully! xoxo

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    1. Hello Claudine, I’m pleased you had a good week. Can you believe it is the weekend already? The days and weeks are just flying past. It took me a while to make sense of that quote, but it seems obvious now. Happy Sunday xx

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  12. What intriguing illustrations. I love the unique style and the pictures really cause the reader to look and examine the details. Beautiful colors and an interesting style. I think your interpretation of the quote/line- makes perfect sense to me. Thanks for sharing this treasure with us- so happy you have it on your shelves. :)

    Hope you are having a lovely weekend!

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    1. Hi Stephanie, the weekend is going beautifully, thank you. Thank you also for taking the time to call in and leave a comment. Happy Sunday! x

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  13. Dear Barbara just dropping by quickly to say hi and I love this book and it's gorgeous illustrations. I don't think I will be able to catch up with older posts yet as too much is going on in my life. My husband has had many setbacks just when we start to think that he will improve. With several times being in and out of hospital I hardly find the time or inclination to be on line much. Today is one of those rare days I am able to sit down and have some time for myself. So I thought I would say hello

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    1. Dear Shashi, I know how difficult things are for you and your husband at the moment so the fact you took the time to say hello is very much appreciated. I hope you enjoyed your day today, and I hope your husband will be better soon. Hugs Barbara

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  14. It's such a pity that children's books these days don't have such beautiful illustrations as these.

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    1. I agree Nikki-ann, thanks for coming over. Have a lovely rest of the week, Barbara

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  15. What a lovely book, lucky you. Brian thinks drugget could mean "door mat". Lovely illustrations as well. Xx

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    1. Hi Sue, it really is a beautiful book and I know I'm lucky to have it. Good thinking Brian, you could be right. xxx

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  16. Greetings again from the land of Oz so far away!! Oh Barbara,my dear friend,THANK YOU!!! I have often wished to see these beautiful images, other than on a site where the book is for sale at some wildly exorbitant price which is far beyond my humble dreams to pay!! I am so very fortunate to have his other treasure filled with such exciting images,though: that being Fairy Tales from Hans Christian Andersen,
    which I bought from an Ebay dealer here in Australia for the giveaway sum of $15(approx 8 pounds!!!)a few years ago!!! I nearly died when it arrived and I realised just what I had been lucky enough to buy!! I had believed it was a far smaller volume of these works, with barely a quarter of the illustrations which mine has!This proves that even online,some true treasures are still actually available to those of us who live so far from where there are car boot sales and markets!!!
    Harry Clarke was known for works which like Kay Neilsen's images,seem to be very influenced by Aubrey Beardsley,and many of them are far more suited to Adults than the children who usually are enjoying such fairy tales!Quite Risque,to say the least!!! But oh!!! such sublime talent both of these men had! Thanks to his father's talent and tuition in his Decorating business, Harry was also well known for his stained glass works which numbered over 130.He only lived till his very early 40's and I can only imagine what other great works this talented man might have shared with the world ,had he not been a very ill man,like one of his brothers was.I actually adore his intricately amazing Black and White works possibly even more than his coloured images!!Every time one looks into them,there is always so much more to discover!!! The precious book of Perrault's works which I have is illustrated by Edmund Dulac.However,I would simply love to own a copy of this treasure of yours,and I thank you SO much for sharing it with everyone. By the way,for darling Willie, I have a century+ old volume of Fairy Tales, filled with engravings by Gustave Dore, from the 1880's and you would take enormous delight,as my dad and step mum did when I bought it in Melbourne in the 1980's,to know that the wolf did indeed eat Red Riding Hood in the old versions.I guess that even in the early 1900's a form of censorship was already making stories more 'child-friendly'!!! Ha ha ha ha!! The final sentence in that old gem of mine, referring to Red,reads '...and HE ate her!'
    I have found many of the tales in the very old versions are far more gruesome,being along the lines of lessons to learn from,rather than the happy-ever-afters which we all know so well!!
    On that note,I shall bid you the fondest farewell for now,letting you know that I am definitely living happily ever after,having seen such stunning images from this book of yours,a copy of which I doubt I shall ever own!! Again dearest Barbara,my warmest thanks for such a treat! and smiles galore for you,as I enjoy them over again, Love Jules xoxox

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    1. Hello Jules, you were lucky indeed to find a copy of the Fairy Tales from Hans Christian Andersen at such an amazing price! You are absolutely right in what you say about some of the images being rather risqué; I was quite surprised by some of them. They certainly aren’t what would be considered usual in a fairy tale. Thank you for all the information, you are incredibly knowledgeable, and I’m learning a huge amount from you. I remember being surprised when I found an old version of Ye three blind mice it was really quite gruesome. You may have seen my blog post about it but if not this is the link http://marchhousebookscom.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/the-complete-version-of-ye-three-blind.html

      Ebay is such a happy hunting ground with lots of bargains waiting to be found. You never know a copy of this lovely book just might turn up there one day, and if it does I hope you see it, bid on it and win it!

      It is time for my beauty sleep now, so I will wish you goodnight and hope to ‘speak’ with you again very soon. Love Barbara.xxx

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  17. Long time dear..How are you Barbara ?? Beautiful book with lovely illustrations..Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Hello Nagini, I'm well thank you, hope the same can be said for you. It is a beautiful book. I feel very lucky to have it on my shelf and to be able to share it. Hugs

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  18. Ooh, I love fairy tales (especially Grimms), and these illustrations are simply beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing ♥

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    1. I love having the opportunity to share some of my books, thank you for taking the time to look at them. xx

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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