Eleventh Day of Advent

With cold and with hunger half-famish’d and weak
Then tap at my window again with your beak,
Nor shall your petition be vain;
You shall fly to my bosom and perch on my thumbs,
Or hop round the table and pick up the crumbs,
And need not be hungry again

From Cock Robin’s Picture Book printed in colours by Kronheim & Co., published in London & New York by George Routledge and Sons,1874


I like this charming picture – sentimental yes, but fresh and bright, not mawkish at all. The rich red of the girl’s dress and the robin’s breast draws the eye. A classic Christmas scene. You can see the illustrator’s initials on the snowy windowsill, bottom left – looks like WP. Sadly I don’t know who that was. So many illustrators of cheaply produced children’s picturebooks at this time weren’t named on title pages. There are reference books in which you can sometimes trace an author or illustrator who went by a pseudonym or initials, but sadly many prove untraceable and remain in obscurity.


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