dear reader

Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading

Rainer Maria Rilke

    • New Year’s Eve
      We close the year with a final flourish from the Twigs, with this delightful illustration by Robert Dudley of their New Year’s Eve dance at Ruddock Hall. Ruddock Manor is fuller than ever, I think, There is Goldfinch the banker and little Lord Spink, Tom Titter is here, and Sir Twitterty Tweet And that gay … Read more
    • Twenty Fourth Day of Advent – Christmas Eve
      Now wake little people dressed in white, Old Father Christmas came last night; He crammed your stocking – and, children, look! He brought you a coloured picture book. from Old Father Christmas by Lizzie Mack and Robert Ellice Mack, published in London by Ernest Nister, 1889. I have been looking forward to posting this picture … Read more
    • Twenty Third Day of Advent
      This illustration is from The Twigs, or, Christmas at Ruddock Hall illustrated by Robert Dudley, published in London by Castell Brothers, 1890. Yesterday we mused on why robins are associated with Christmas, which led to the discovery that Victorian postmen were nicknamed Robins. But why is the nation’s favourite bird called a robin in the … Read more
    • Twenty Second Day of Advent
      Some flowerpot robins from The Bright Surprise for Little Eyes, published in London by the Sunday School Union, 1884.   We are so used to associating robins with Christmas that I doubt we ever give much thought as to why this is. As with all such questions there are many answers. However, one thing we … Read more
    • Twenty First Day of Advent
      from Oh Dear Oh Look at the Snow by Jack Frost, published by Dean & Son, 1884. I know we’ve posted a couple of snow scenes from this book by the pseudonymous Jack Frost, depicting children making huge snowballs, but I love this one and can’t bear to leave it out. Why do I love … Read more