Eighth Day of Advent

Keep on rolling as fast as you can go !
The further you push it,
the more you’ll have to show.
See! it’s getting larger !
Push with all your might !
Wait a little longer, –
Won’t it be a sight !

From ‘Oh Dear Oh Look at the Snow’ by Jack Frost, published in London by Dean & Son, 1884

Jack Frost is a pseudonym of course, and I don’t know who the real author was of this book of children’s poetry. The illustrations are signed E.B. I don’t know who E.B. was either. I remember the frustration, while working on the Tower Project, of not being able to track down authors and artists, particularly if I liked their work. We used actual reference books in the impressive Reading Room to try to solve knotty problems like this. Real bibliographic sleuthing!

These children playing in the snow are very fancily dressed – look at the boy at the back, leaning on the snowball, in his natty check outfit with lace collar. In fact all the boys have lace collars! And the little girl in a frilly bonnet and sash is carrying an umbrella as big as she is. Would she have called it a gamp? Gamp was a slang term for umbrella, thought to derive from Sarah (Sairey) Gamp in Dickens’ novel Martin Chuzzlewit, who always carried  a large umbrella.


#victorianchildrensbooks #victorianchristmas #adventcalendar #victorianpicturebooks #advent #childrenspicturebooks #victorianillustration #victorianillustrators #snow #snowball #christmas #jackfrost





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