Thursday, 28 March 2013

A Vintage Easter Greeting From Me To You

Just popping in 

to wish all my blogging palls 

a very Happy Easter

Four vintage postcards from my collection. The first and third published by Raphael Tuck c1910. The second has no publishing details or date, but it was posted in Vienna on the 12th April, 1911. The last one published by the International Art Company, New York c1915.

I wish you all a joyous Easter.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Problems with commenting and word verification

I want to say sorry to anyone who has been struggling to leave comments on my blog. I would also like to thank Michelle, Stephanie and Petty Witter for telling me about the problems. Sometime last year I started using a commenting service called Disqus, I can’t remember why, but there was a good reason at the time. Everything worked beautifully until Disqus decided to ‘update’ the service. I resisted the change for as long as I could but at the end of last week they gave me no choice by imposing the changes themselves.  

Just recently I've noticed a large increase in spam, so with that in mind I've reverted to Blogger comments and turned on word verification. I know many of you hate word verification (as do I), but I've been drowning under all kinds of ‘offers’ I don’t need or want. I promise to remove it just as soon as I can.

PS. Do you like my new signature? The hardest part was putting the images together (thank you Terry). Once that was done it was really very simple. If you fancy having a go Code It Pretty will tell you how.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Newly Catalogued: From the Alps to Toyland

Lots of lovely books and ephemeral items have come in over the last few weeks.

Heidi, Heidi Grows Up and Heidi's Children

When Heidi is sent to live in the Swiss mountains with her elderly Grandfather, the people in the village feel sorry for her. But Heidi soon discovers a secret: Grandfather isn't nearly as cross as he looks. Heidi was another of my childhood favourites. I can remember reading the first line and wishing I could travel to the mountains with Heidi – "From the old and pleasantly situated town of Maienfeld a path leads through green, shady meadows to the foot of the mountains which look down from their majestic heights upon the valley below."

Now for some fun! The Happy Little Choo-Choo with animated pages

Written by Laura Harris animated by Julian Wehr and published by Wm. Penn in1944.
Pull the tabs to oil the wheels, change the points and move a cow from the track! Colour and two-tone illustrations plus moving pages make this a very special book.  

Three pretty flower fairy books by Cicely Mary Barker, c1960s/70s

It may seem odd to include a Christmas story at this time of year but Pookie the little white rabbit with wings is popular all year round. These are all hardbacks written and illustrated by Ivy Wallace and published between 1955 and 1959.

A Set of six miniature Mrs Books by Lawson Wood. Mrs. Bear, Mrs. Purr, Mrs. Nibble, Mrs. Waddle, Mrs. Polly and Mrs. Cackle. Undated c1919. 

Rupert and the Wonderful Boots written and illustrated by Mary Tourtel, 1st edition 1946. Join Rupert as he flies over villages and castles and into many adventures with the Brigands and the Evil Ogre.

Scarce early Beano Annual featuring Biffo the Bear, Jack flash, Pansy Potter, Have a Go Jo, Lord Snooty, Skinny Flint and Iron Fish. The Beano Book 1953 cartoons by Dudley D Watkins and other artists.

Other newly listed items include a nice collection of Noddy books, a couple of very pretty pop-up birthday cards and a picture strip book called Noddy's Penny Wheel Car.

Enid Blyton has been in the news again recently. It seems that some of the good people of Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire are trying to oppose the installation of a plaque on the spot where her home once stood. Further they are trying to block a festival in her honour, on the grounds that her work is 'racist and offensive'. Whatever the rights and wrongs of this I stand by the fact that I loved Enid Blyton books when I was a child, and I love them still. Her books were written in very different (more innocent?) times, they encouraged numerous reluctant readers, including me, to pick up a book and start reading.

A pretty picture strip book published by Sampson Low in 1952. Twenty eight pages, printed in four colours throughout, artist uncredited. 2 stories - 36 frames each, the second story is titled Noddy in trouble.

Last but certainly not least two beautiful vintage 'pop-up' birthday cards. 

Did you read Heidi when you were small?  Or maybe Rupert Bear or the Beano annual were more your kind of thing?

All the books featured here are now sold, thank you for looking.

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. 

Monday, 18 March 2013

A colourful Life - Illustrations by Richard André

Last weeks 'doggy treats' post featured a book by Juliana Horatia Ewing called Papa Poodle & other pets. I purchased Papa Poodle along with sixteen other books from the same series each published between 1883 and 1885. The books were written by Juliana Horatia Ewing, and illustrated by R. (Richard) André.  I didn't know anything about the illustrator, but a little research suggests he led quite a colourful life;

Richard André, born William Roger Snow on 6th March, 1834 was the eldest son of a prominent London family. He entered Cambridge University in 1854, but unknown minor infractions forced him to leave the university within the year. In 1855, after spending his large inheritance, Snow joined the army and travelled the world. He published his first work in 1860. Titled Sketches of Chinese Life & Character, it was based on his observations and experiences while living in Hong Kong. By the early 1870s, Snow had become a playwright. By 1875, both his marriage and his military career came to an abrupt end as a result of his infidelities, causing him to assume an alias. Working as Clifford Merton, Snow began a prolific career as a writer and illustrator of children’s literature until his abandoned wife discovered his alias. After their divorce, Snow changed his name again. Thereafter known as Richard André he collaborated with the children’s author Juliana Horatia Ewing, his success as an illustrator continued on after Ewing’s death in 1885. André eventually branched out into photography and printing and became a successful businessman. He died in 1907 at the age of seventy five.    *Source; Drawn to Enchantment Original Children's Book Art in the Betsy Beinecke Shirley collection, Yale University.

A colourful life echoed in these wonderfully colourful illustrations;

From Master Fritz (now sold, thank you for your interest)

From The Three Little Nest-Birds (now sold, thank you for your interest)

From Our Garden (now sold, thank you for your interest)

From The Mill Stream (now sold, thank you for your interest)

From Dolls Housekeeping (now sold, thank you for your interest)

From Grandmother's Spring (now sold, thank you for your interest)

From Mother's Birthday Review (now sold, thank you for your interest)

From Touch Him If You Dare. This is my favourite illustration. The title 'Touch him if you day' is referring to the little hedge-pig (a young hedgehog) in the corner of the picture.

Thanks for your visit, happy reading!

The featured books are now sold, thanks for looking. 

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

A book auction and a thank you or two

A Book Auction;

A few interesting items from a sale of modern first editions, the collection of Clive Hirschorn, Bloomsbury Auctions, London. 25th October, 2012. My reason for selecting these should become clear when you arrive at the second part of the post.

Peril at End House by Agatha Christie, 1932. Murder and mystery with inspector Poirot. The solution is quite unusually ingenious, and well up to the standard of Mrs. Christie’s best stories. Everything is perfectly fair, and it is possible to guess the solution of the puzzle fairly early in the book, though it is certainly not easy.’ The Times Literary Supplement, 14 April, 1932. Pre sale estimate £2,000 - £3,000. Price realised  £4,000.

Watership Down Richard Adams, 1972. Watership Down is a serious, even grim tale that many will find relentless and depressing and others will find poetic and moving. The author's first book and a classic of children's literature. Pre sale estimate £1000 - £1500.00. Price realised £1500.00

Daphne Du Maurier Jamaica Inn,1936. The author's own copy with her signed bookplate to pastedown. Daphne Du Maurier’s classic work of smuggling and intrigue, influenced by her visit to the eponymous hostelry in Cornwall. Pre sale estimate £1500.00 - £2000.00. Price realised £3500.00

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons, 1932. An excellent copy of Stella Gibbons breakthrough first novel. A brilliant satire of the sort of overwrought melodramas fashionable at the time. Pre sale estimate £1500 - £2000.00. Price realised £3500.00

Roald Dahl, The Gremlins, 1943. The author's first published work. Pre sale estimate £1500.00 - £2000.00. Price Realised £4000.00

Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee, 1959. First edition, signed presentation inscription from the author. 
Pre sale estimate £150.00 - £200.00. Price realized £260.00

and a thank you;

My thanks to all at The Secret DMS files of Fairday Morrow for passing along the Inspirational Blogger Award.

The rules are simple: Display the award logo on your blog. Link back to the person who nominated you, State 7 things about yourself, nominate other bloggers for this award and link to them, notify those bloggers of the nomination.

Seven things about me;

I love anything and everything to do with auctions.

New Year’s Resolution - 2014!   Read the Agatha Christie books that are gathering dust on my shelves. I buy them but I just don’t read them – I wonder why? 

I love Watership Down, but have never been owned by a rabbit!

Daphne Du Maurier's Jamaica Inn is one of my all-time favourite reads. I visited Jamaica Inn with my mum and dad when I was a small child. Set high on Bodmin Moor, in Cornwall it felt incredibly remote and romantic back then. It’s a little different now, standing as it does on the road between Bodmin and Launceston, firmly on the tourist trail.
Jamaica Inn as it once looked.

I grew up on a farm and am happy to report it was nothing like Cold Comfort Farm.
A misty morning on the farm, me and three friends.

I found a lovely copy of Roald Dahl’s The Gremlins in a used-book store in Australia. After arriving back in the UK it was sold to a customer in … you guessed it … Australia.

Cider with Rosie and Somerset Cider are two of my favourite things.

I would like to pass the Inspirational Blogger Award on to all my blogging friends. Please feel free to grab the award logo and display it on your own blogs. Each of you deserves to win the award, and I can't choose between you. Thanks for all your support, you are the best!

I was just about to publish this post when Michelle from Vintage Cobweb contacted me to say she had awarded me the ‘Your Blog Is Fabulous’ Award. Thank you Michelle, I'm honoured and delighted to accept it!

This super duper award comes without rules! I don’t even have to pass it along if I don’t wish to – but of course, I do.

My nominations are

Congratulations! If you would like to nominate other bloggers for the award that’s great, but it’s entirely up to you – remember there are no rules!

Thanks for your visit, happy reading! 

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Alison Uttley

Alison Uttley was born at Castle Top Farm, Derbyshire, England on the 17th December 1884. She was the daughter of Henry and Hannah Taylor christened Alice Jane Taylor only adopting the name Alison on publication of her first book. Stories and books were important to her all through her childhood. In the evenings, the family would sit around the fire and read aloud from Robinson Crusoe, A Midsummer Night's dream and Alison's favourite, Arabian Nights. 

Alison was taught at home by her mother until the age of seven. Life was happy and secure and allowed her the freedom to develop her love of the countryside, books and poetry. Later, she was educated at Lea School in Holloway and the Lady Manners School in Bakewell where she discovered an interest in science, which led to a scholarship to Manchester University to read physics. In the autumn of 1907, after obtaining her degree and deciding on a career in teaching Alison started a course at the Lady's training college at Cambridge. Her teaching career progressed and in 1908, she took up the post of physics teacher at the Fulham Secondary School for girls.

She met and married James Arthur Uttley in 1911, and together they had a son, John Corin Taylor (1915-1978). After the First World War, the family settled at Downs House in Bowden, Cheshire. It was here that Alison began work on her first autobiographical book The Country Child.

Her manuscript for The Squirrels, the Hare and a Little Grey Rabbit was accepted by Heinemann in 1929. The illustrator Margaret Tempest was called upon to create the drawings, and this was the start of a long collaboration. In 1930 after the tragic death of her husband, Alison turned to writing with renewed zeal as a means of supporting herself and her young son. During the next few years she produced an amazing number of books, mainly for children which again revealed her great love of the countryside. 

The Country Child was published in 1932, and this was followed in 1937 by Ambush of Young Days two autobiographical books greatly enhanced by the superb illustrations of C. F. Tunnicliffe. 1937 also saw the start of a new series about Tim Rabbit illustrated by Alec Buckels and later by A. E. Kennedy and Shirley Hughes. 1939 saw the start of the Sam Pig books illustrated by Alec Buckels, Francis Gower, A. E. Kennedy and Cecil Leslie. In 1950, she started work on the Little Brown Mouse books illustrated by Katherine Wigglesworth followed in 1954 with the first title in the Little Red Fox series again illustrated by Katherine Wigglesworth..

She later began writing for older children and adults, focusing particularly on rural topics. One of her most popular books A Traveller in Time mixed historical fact and dreams in a story about a twentieth-century girl who was transported back to the 16th century and became involved in a plot to free Mary Queen of Scots. Alison wrote over one hundred books and continued to write until the time of her death in 1976. She worked with many of the great illustrators, and today her books are as much loved as ever.


Please follow the links to read further posts about Alison Uttley on this blog

Take Ten ... Little Grey Rabbit Books here

Take Ten More ... Little Grey Rabbit Books here

The final eleven Little Grey Rabbit Books here

Little Grey Rabbit and friends here

Country Things by Alison Uttley here

Recipes from an old farm house by Alison Uttley here

Some moonshine tales from Alison Uttley here


Alison Uttley Little Grey Rabbit books 1 to 31, together with the year and (if known) month of first publication. Each published by Collins. The first twenty six books illustrated by Margaret Tempest, books number 27 to 31 illustrated by Katherine Wigglesworth. You will note the date of the 1st edition does not always correspond with the numbering system used by Collins in their later editions. For instance Little Grey Rabbit’s washing-day was first published in September 1938 but it has been given the Number 9 even though it was published before numbers 6, 7 and 8.

No. 1 Squirrel goes skating 1934, September 
No. 2 Wise Owl’s story 1935, September 
No. 3 Little Grey Rabbit’s party 1936, August 
No. 4 The knot squirrel tied 1937, September 
No. 5 Fuzzypeg goes to school 1938 
No. 6 Little Grey Rabbit’s Christmas 1940, May 
No. 7 Moldy warp the mole 1940, August 
No. 8 Hare joins the home guard 1941 
No. 9 Little Grey Rabbit’s washing-day 1938 
No.10 Water-rat’s picnic 1943, October 
No.11 Little Grey Rabbit’s birthday 1944, December 
No.12 The speckledy hen 1945, December 
No.13 Little Grey Rabbit to the rescue a play 1945 
No.14 Little Grey Rabbit & the weasels 1947, September 
No.15 Little Grey Rabbit and the wandering hedgehog 1948, October 
No.16 Little Grey Rabbit makes 1950, October 
No.17 Hare and the Easter eggs 1952, September 
No.18 Little Grey Rabbit’s valentine 1953, September 
No.19 Little Grey Rabbit goes to the sea 1954, September 
No.20 Hare and Guy Fawkes 1956, September 
No.21 Little Grey Rabbit’s paint-box 1958 
No.22 Grey Rabbit finds a shoe 1960 
No.23 Grey Rabbit and the circus 1961  No.24 Grey Rabbit’s May Day 1963 
No.25 Hare goes shopping 1965 
No.26 Little Grey Rabbit’s Pancake day 1967 
No.27 Little Grey Rabbit goes to the North Pole 1970 
No.28 Fuzzypeg’s brother 1971 
No.29 Little Grey Rabbit’s spring-cleaning party 1972 
No.30 Little Grey Rabbit and the snow-baby 1973
No.31 Hare and the rainbow 1975 

Earlier books published by William Heinemann Ltd include; 
The story of Fuzzypeg the hedgehog 1929 The Alison Uttley Society date this as published in 1932, but the copy I have in my hand states First Published October, 1929 
The squirrel the hare and the little Grey Rabbit 1929 
How little Grey Rabbit got back her tail 1930 The great adventure of hare 1931 

In May 2009 the edited Private Diaries of Alison Uttley were published.

Further information can be found at the Alison Uttley Society website

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Spring Sunshine at The Vyne

Yesterdays beautiful spring sunshine saw us temporarily downing tools (or in my case books!) and heading out for the day. A visit to my parent’s grave was long overdue and as its mother's day on Sunday, it felt like the perfect time to call in and leave a few spring flowers. But first we decided to pay a visit to the Vyne for lunch and a walk around the gardens.

The Vyne is a National trust property built in the 16th century for Lord Sandys, Henry VIII's Lord Chamberlain. The house is nestled by the Shir brook in Sherborne St John, which is a wonderfully serene lake. It’s surrounded by lush pastures, woodlands, wetlands and manicured gardens.

It was much too nice to spend any time inside, but a visit to the library is an essential part of any trip!  

While wandering around the corridors we came across this fabulous 'book' (actually just a couple of pages) challenging visitors to solve a riddle.

This is all to do with a new exhibition exploring whether a Roman ring, found at an archaeological site in Silchester inspired Tolkien to write The Lord of the Rings. The Ring Room, created in conjunction with the Tolkien Society, tells the incredible story of the ring and contains memorabilia from The Tolkien Society's own archive. The exhibition also tells how The Vyne may have got its name, whilst intrepid explorers can hunt around the mansion, solving riddles and puzzles and hunting for dwarves!

This was my idea of a perfect day, but what do you like to do on your days off?

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