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Appley Dapply's Nursery Rhymes

Beatrix Potter (London 1866 - Near Sawrey, Cumbria 1943)

Category

Manuscripts and documents

Date

1904 - 1905

Materials

Ink, Paper, Pencil, Watercolour

Measurements

205 x 160 x 21 mm; 94 pages (Extent)

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Collection

Beatrix Potter Gallery, Cumbria

NT 242235

Summary

Manuscript dummy for the 1905 Appley Dapply's Nursery Rhymes. The book has a hard cover, orange in colour, with a printed illustration from The Tale of Benjamin Bunny (HIL.RP.164) pasted onto the cover. Beatrix received the book from Warnes 14 September 1904. She used it to design the layout of a proposed book of nursery rhymes, the original idea for which dated back to 1902. The rhymes and rough drawings in this book cover the period September 1904 to the summer of 1905. Work ceased following Norman Warne's death; and the book was finally published in a reduced form in 1917. There are 19 rhymes set out with illustrations and/or borders, and a further 3 rough notes of rhymes (one of which is included in full in the text) at the back of the book. The majority, possibly all, of the rhymes are Beatrix's own invention. Peter Opie writes - '...I could not swear that every specimen was original; but these pieces appear to be all by the same hand, and are certainly not traditional, although a few have been 'set jogging' by familiar metres. One or two of them are delicious.' The pages of the book have been numbered or labelled 'Frontispiece', 'Title page' etc, by Beatrix Potter; and they have been headed either 'Outline' or 'Coloured' to denote the type of illustration intended. Other than this, the pages are mostly blank, with the rhymes and their rough illustrations, often drawn within decorative rectangular borders, on loose sheets of paper slipped in between the pages. The exceptions, where sketched pencil illustrations are drawn directly onto the book pages, are as follows - page 20 (side view of a fox, seated); page 21 (group of 3 swimming ducks); page 28 (mole hill with a mole emerging); page 29 (closer view of mole emerging from mole hill, carrying a spade); page 36 (rabbit, seated); page 37 (rabbit, seated); page 44 (guineapig gentleman, bowing, with top hat in hand); page 45 (outline of 2 standing guineapigs). See also HIL.R.34.1 - HIL.R.34.49, the rhymes and illustrations written and drawn on separate sheets, which have been removed and are stored separately.

Makers and roles

Beatrix Potter (London 1866 - Near Sawrey, Cumbria 1943), writer

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