Sunday 22 November 2015

Happy Holidays and Books from my Bookshelf

My bookshelf holds two versions of The Glass Slipper. The first is a children’s play written by Eleanor and Herbert Farjeon.  

The Glass Slipper - Illustrations by Hugh Stevenson. 
Published by Allan Wingate, 1944.

The play was commissioned and produced by Robert Donat and performed at the St James Theatre, London in 1944 and 1945. Hugh Stevenson who illustrated and decorated the book also designed the scenery for the stage production. Geoffrey Dunn, John Ruddock, and Betty Baskcomb were all members of the original cast. 

Illustration by Hugh Stevenson 

The rise of the curtain discloses the kitchen in the dim light of dawn. Snow outside. A grandfather clock, a broom, a tap, a fireplace, a pump, a string of onions, a kettle, a rocking-chair, a table, a sink, fire irons, unwashed cups and dishes. Cinderella is asleep – a cock crows. The stage lightens a little. Cinderella sits up and rubs her eyes.

Oh! Oh!
Silly old rooster!
Crow, crow!
Shrilly old rooster!
Every morning Crow, crow!
“Time to get up!”
I Know!
Fire to light,
Kettle to boil,
Lamp to polish
and fill with oil.
Ashes to sweep
Up in a heap,
Oh Dear!
I’d ever so rather go back


In this the second version the play has evolved into a story with illustrations by Ernest H. Shepard.

The Glass Slipper by Eleanor Farjeon
Published by Geoffrey Cumberlege, 1955.

Outside the kitchen in the falling snow, the Rooster crowed: 'Cockadoodledoo!' Inside the kitchen in her narrow bed, Ella pulled the thin blanket over her ears and tried not to hear him. As well as being thin the blanket was short, so when she covered her head it left her little feet bare. They were not only the prettiest, but the littlest pair of feet that any girl of sixteen was ever blessed with; but when they poked out of the blanket they were blue with cold. The kitchen was a vast dark stony room, more like a cellar than a kitchen, which is often the cosiest room in a house; but nothing could make this cold vault cosy, even when the fire was lit on the wide open hearth...

Illustration by Ernest H. Shepard.

I'm a fan of Ernest H Shepard's artwork and while the price of an original illustration from Winnie the Pooh is beyond my budget, the following was more affordable; 

Auction catalogue entry  - ticks and scribble added by me in my excitement!

I'm also lucky enough to own a letter written by Eleanor Farjeon, which reads “Darling, I expect you know this already in its other form. If not – here it is – if so, here it is again. Love and blessings on you all from Eleanor! The letter was found inside the front cover of the book on the left of this picture.

The story of Cinderella and the glass slipper is familiar to most of us, while Eleanor Farjeon is perhaps less well known.   If you would like to find out more there is an excellent piece about her here.


As many of you already know our son, his wife and their two little daughters are spending Christmas and the New Year with us.  They arrive on the 6th December and return to Australia towards the end of January 2016, which means I will be away from my blog for a few weeks.

But … before I go I'm sending you a message, wishing a wish or two.
To let you know I'm thinking, this Christmas tide of you.

Kind thoughts  

and Yuletide greetings

I'm sending loud and clear.

To wish you a Merry Christmas and the happiest New Year.

I am very grateful to everyone who visits me here, thank you. I hope this coming holiday season brings you all much joy and happiness.
I hope to see you again in 2016.
With love, Barbara xx


  1. Wonderful....Wonderful....Nothing beats a good
    fairy~tale...I know! I've told enough of them! :).
    True and very well animated...!
    I still have 229 ladybird books. in the bookshelf at
    the top of the stairs, that belong to my daughter....
    I know everyone of them....OFF by heart!
    And.....sssssssh! Don't tell anyone...I still read them!
    Nice and short..with pictures of course...Just right for
    me...who does'nt have the patience to read a book!
    "Once upon a time there was a shoemaker and his wife.
    The man was a good shoemaker and he worked hard, yet
    he and his wife were very poor.....".
    You see...Start of The Elves and the Shoemaker...!
    Next...............! :).

    Well Barbara...I don't think l'm the only one quite excited
    on the arrival of your much loved family from Australia....
    Hope to hear lots of your enjoyments over the Christmas
    period later in the new year..!
    Lots of happiness and love to you...your Hubby...And your
    lovelyfamily....God bless!x
    Oh! Don't forget....Have lots of fun....I'm certainly gonna
    pull a cracker....Don't know who yet....But................! :>).

    1. Hi Willie, thank you for making me laugh! I sincerely hope you pull a few crackers this Christmas!

      Good for you reading those Ladybird books (don’t worry I won’t tell anyone). I read children's books all the time. We all need a little magic to counteract the grim reality we are facing these days.

      Thank you for being the lovely man you are Willie. You can be sure you will be hearing a LOT about the family in the New Year.

      I went and looked at all the pretty things your daughter is selling; I hope she has a bumper Christmas, and I wish you and yours the very best of times. With love Barbara xx

  2. Dear, dear Barbara! Oh the Glass Slipper/Cinderella, this was and still is my FAVORITE of all. And that illustration of the hearth; I remember loving that idea and I'd draw this story over and over again. Fond memories chez toi....much love!

    1. Hello Anita, did you realise you were the inspiration behind this post? I fell in love with your Cinderella photographs on Instagram. Much love, Happy Holidays. Barbara x

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you Roger, I wish the same for you. Barbara x

  4. How beautiful! I love your taste in books!

  5. Have a wonderful Christmas - and watch out for those snowball-toting cats!

    1. Thanks Sue, you too. I just love those cats – they have mischief written all over them!

  6. Oh how lovely, both of these books sound adorable and I especially love that verse you kindly shared with us.

    Wishing you and yours a wonderful Yule, you must be so excited.

    1. Thanks Tracy. I'm sure I will see you on Facebook before Christmas but if not I hope you and your family have a very happy time. See you in the New Year, Barbara.

  7. Love seeing these beautiful old versions of The Glass Slipper. My daughter and I have been watching a variety of Cinderella films and it's been fun to compare their similarities and differences. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful holiday with your family!

    1. It must be lovely to share things with your daughter. I’m looking forward to enjoying books and films with my two little granddaughters. They don’t know it yet, but we have pantomime tickets for Cinderella on New Year’s Eve – I’m so excited! I hope you have the best holiday.

  8. Dear Barbara what lovely books and isn't it marvellous to find a letter written by the illustrater himself in the cover. That certainly is a treasure.
    I am wishing you too a very Happy Chritstmas and a wonderful New Year. May your time with your dear ones be most joyous and make wonderful memories with them. Look forward to your posts in the new year Take care.

    1. Hello Shashi, the letter was a lovely surprise and a bonus. I would like to find out who it was sent to so one of these days I might try a little detective work!
      Thank you so much for your kind wishes. I hope Christmas, and the New Year bring you lots of happiness and good fortune. I will look forward to ‘chatting’ with you again in 2016.

  9. Wonderful books and illustrations, as always.

    In case I miss you, I'm going to wish you a Merry Christmas (and a welsh Nadolig Llawen!) and all the best for the new year (where on earth has this year gone?!).

    1. Nadolig Llawen Nikki-ann. I have no idea where this year went, but I do know it went quickly. It was March a couple of days ago! Have a lovely Christmas xx

  10. Oh, Barbara - I enjoyed that story so much. The thought of those poor little cold toes made me want to cry! Have a really wonderful Christmas with your family - you deserve it. Love Marilyn x

    1. Hello Marilyn, it’s nice to know the story has a happy ending, but poor little Cinders does suffer at the start. I blame her father – such a selfish man, and his new wife and step daughters are truly horrid!
      I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a Very Happy New Year, and I will look forward to catching up with you in February. Barbara xx

  11. Beautiful post Barbara! Love all of the illustrations! Have a wonderful Christmas with your family and I'll see you in the New Year! ~ Diane

  12. Hi Barbara,

    I immersed myself in this wondrous story and those drawings, oh those drawings, memories cast from my childhood. Although, when it comes to a glass slipper, still cannot find one that fits :)

    Have a peaceful time with your family from afar. Happy holidays and enjoy your time away from the weird and wonderful world of blogging.


    Gary :)

    1. Hi Gary,
      I’m sure there is a glass slipper for everyone – you just have to keep looking. :)

      I hope Christmas and the New Year bring you nothing but happiness. I’m sending love to Penny and the rest of your family – but most of all to you. Barbara xx

  13. Have a wonderful time with your son and his family! Merry Christmas from Spain!! See you in 2016.

    1. Thank you so much Darlene, enjoy the sunshine and have a wonderful Christmas and a Very Happy New Year. xxx

  14. Very hot summery greetings from Tropical North Queensland here in Australia! I do hope that the girls get to see some of the stunning White Christmas featured on your lovely Christmas card images! What a genuinely lovely thrill for them to make memories of at the ages they now are!! I know that you are all in for the loveliest 6 weeks when December 6th rolls around!! I was a huge fan of Eleanor Farjeon in my childhood years and in Sept 2011 I managed to get a very early signed edition of Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard! It's beautifully illustrated by C.E. Brock,and though well worn and much read and loved,I adore it to bits!!! It is inscribed to her niece or nephew from memory..... She was so generous with her dedications and letters,and I think this is something which always has endeared her to me. I ended up buying a second volume from around the same period or a little later so I could enjoy it without causing any further damage to the signed one!! It was always here delicious and often whimsical poems which really appealed to me as a child though!! Some would have me laughing out loud!! Things such as The Witch and Cats Sleep Anywhere!! We had a siamese cat when I was very small,and that poem could've been written for him!!
    As for the versions of the classic Cinderella: how lovely to see these,and how exceedingly fortunate you are to own all the related items.I am certainly enjoying them as well,through your generous blog!! Cinderella was a character who lent herself to so many other books and one I always love is Cinderella's Party which is illustrated by Australia's well loved Pixie O'Harris! I only finally managed to get a copy last year,and it is stunning,of course! As for Ernest H Shepherd, I was,just less than an hour ago, enjoying a delightful book of poems published in 1925 titled Playtime and Company written by E.V.Lucas.It is inscribed 'From Daddy,when visiting London,to Kathleen'. I love the quaint roundabout way that many fathers wrote in books to their little ones back in the 20's!! The illustrations in this book are extremely reminiscent of the earliest A.A.Milne books for his son Christopher Robin! Even the bear in some of them looks just like good old Pooh!!! The poems however are NOT of the same ilk,and well worth finding and enjoying ,if you are able to hunt a copy down!
    Oh Barbara,it is SUCH a thrill and a total joy to discuss such magic with you,who truly understands what I am talking about!! You have added a glorious dimension to my life and also to my love of these books from yesteryear. Thank you again for everything,and also for the wonderfully exciting friendship which has so rapidly become a huge gift to me. I wish you and Terry, a positively sublimely gorgeous time with your beautiful family,and I look forward to sharing more ramblings with both you and your readers in 2016. Have a very special and memorable Festive Season which outshine all the ones which have gone before it..
    Love,and the warmest of happy smiles,Jules and the Fur Babies in Oz

    1. Dear Julie, thank you so much for your Christmas wishes and your lovely comment. You've given me food for thought – perhaps the letter I have was also sent to a niece or nephew. I wish it was still in an envelope and then I would know for sure! I’m very nosy and always want to find these things out.

      It is very wet in the UK at the moment although there has been a sprinkling of snow in a few places so we are keeping our fingers crossed. We may have to get on a plane and fly to Scotland if it doesn't get down as far as us!

      You are a woman after my own heart Julie, you love all the things I love, and it is such a joy to be able to share them with you through your words. I’ve just been looking (online) at images of Cinderella’s Party with the Pixie O’Harris illustrations. I’ve only been able to see the front cover, but it looks adorable. The inscription in your copy of Playtime and Company is heart warming – how lucky you are to own it.

      Hubby has just woken up so I must away and put the kettle on but before I go I want to send you my love and grateful thanks for your comments, photos and blog posts. You have brightened my life no end! Have a wonderful Christmas and the very best New Year. Hugs to the Fur Babies and to you and all your lovely friends and neighbours. Have the best Christmas Julie – see you in the New Year. Barbara xxx

      If anyone reading this is wondering about the poems mentioned by Julie here they are –

      Cats sleep, anywhere,
      Any table, any chair
      Top of piano, window-ledge,
      In the middle, on the edge,
      Open drawer, empty shoe,
      Anybody’s lap will do,
      Fitted in a cardboard box,
      In the cupboard, with your frocks-
      Anywhere! They don’t care!
      Cats sleep anywhere.

      The witch! The witch!
      Don’t let her get you!
      Or your Aunt wouldn’t know you
      The next time she met you!

  15. Oops, I left a comment here few days ago but it didn't get through. I love the pictures you've posted here, and I do have an A.A. Milne book with E.H. Sheperd's illustrations (WHEN WE WERE VERY YOUNG AND NOW WE ARE SIX). Have a glorious time with your family, Barbara! Merry Christmas to all of you guys and we'll catch up soon.

    1. Dear Claudine I’m so sorry your previous comment didn’t get through – my blog does that sometimes!
      Have a lovely Christmas Claudine, see you in 2016. xxx

  16. What beautiful editions of The Glass Slipper and the note is excellent too! Such treasures. :)

    I loved looking at all the illustrations. So nice to hear from you and hoping that the rest of your holiday season is just lovely. Merry Christmas!

    1. Thank you so much Stephanie, see you next year, Barbara x

  17. Those nostalgic Christmas cards or pictures at the end are wonderful! Thanks for the greetings and have a safe trip and a wonderful New Year too!

  18. Thanks for the greetings and have a safe trip and a wonderful New Year too!

  19. I love the illustrations and the cards. Have wonderful holidays.

    1. There are some lovely illustrations in this post, Barbara. Have a wonderful holiday and enjoy the time with your family. No doubt you have lots of lovely books to read to your grandchildren. :)

  20. Awesome illustrations. Thanks for sharing. Have great holiday time.

  21. What better day to reconnect Barbara other than Christmas !! loving wishes to you and your loved ones :)
    I am back to blogging and here, at the warm and cheery March Book House Blog.. A place full of nostalgia and old world charm , ringing with innocent laughter of children and generous smiles of benevolent grown ups.
    Hope you were great during the time I was not in touch Barbara :) Merry Christmas :)

  22. Dear Barbara,

    Beautiful books and such sweet illustrations - love old books.
    The old Christmas cards are lovely too.
    Hope you are enjoying the holidays and wishing you all the very best for 2016.

  23. Hello Barbara !I was a little troubled but not that much to not to remember if I have commented here or not !I feel I have and am not able to see it dear !In case my mind is playing tricks with me,kindly, let me know :)
    And, its a beautiful post as always :)

  24. Thanks to everyone for your comments and New Year wishes. I hope to back blogging and visiting your blogs towards the end of January, 2016. Happy New Year Barbara xx


I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx