14 March 2012

Rose Fyleman: The Rose Fyleman Fairy Book (1923; repr. 2010)

I've only just come across the children's poetry of Rose Fyleman (1877–1957), but this relatively recent publication (Nottingham: Bromley House Editions/Five Leaves, 2010), which is based on the Methuen first edition of 1923 and includes a number of illustrations by Hilda T. Miller, is a delight. Fyleman is perhaps almost forgotten now, but the first line of her poem 'Fairies', which opens this collection, certainly isn't forgotten: 'There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!'.

As there doesn't appear to be much information about Nottingham-born Fyleman available online, I'm forced to fall back on her Wikipedia entry here, although her book Fairies and Chimneys (1918), which also begins with the poem 'Fairies', is here. It is dedicated


'TO
THE REALEST FAIRY
OF MY CHILDHOOD
MY MOTHER'.
Humphrey Carpenter and Mari Prichard's The Oxford Companion to English Literature (1984) states that Fyleman, making the acquaintance of A. A. Milne through her contributions to Punch, first made the suggestion that he write children's verse, and that his first published children's poem, 'The Dormouse and the Doctor', appeared in Fyleman's monthly The Merry-Go-Round (which had its origins in the annual Joy Street).

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