- Fyfield, Berkshire, 1892.
- Physical Description:
- 10 volumes : illustrations ; 21 cm
- Rare Books and ManuscriptsPN6245 .S36 1892Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon FundView by request in the Study Room [Request]
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- Copyright Status:
- Copyright Not Evaluated
- Archives & Manuscripts
- Manuscript magazine, issued monthly, each issue with original pen, ink and watercolor drawings of the children and classroom at the village school. The first eight issues, January-August, are continuously paginated, and there is an additional issue titled "Summer Number." Each issue is between sixteen and twenty pages long, the first eight in matching brown sugar paper wrappers, held together with silk ties. The other two are in ruled paper notebooks, again with a silk tie.
Each issue includes varied material beginning, typically, with several serialized stories, including “Two Little Lovebirds,” “The Schoolboys Adventures,” and “The Tyrants.” The stories involve students in class, children who run away, and fantasy worlds: it is unclear whether the stories were composed by students and transcribed, or by teachers for the pleasure of the students. Some passages do vary, however, and focus on less typical matters: one describes a queen's distaste for her wealth; another, written from the point of view of an ant, extols “the delights & cares of grub life!”
The stories are frequently followed by a variety of puzzles, riddles, and games. Readers are instructed to decode passages to find famous sayings or adages, and to guess what flowers, rivers, or cities are referred to by rather cryptic clues. One notable inclusion is a story written in pictures and rearranged words: the idea being that the reader transform the words and pictures into a typical narrative. That is: an image of a broom stands for the word, and the word “once” written above “time” means “once upon a time.” Once decoded, the story tells of a witch who kidnapped an unfriendly man, forced him into servitude and, when she grew tired of him, killed him. The world rejoices. Answers are given in the following month's issue. Each group of puzzles is usually signed with a pseudonym--Brutus, Medusa, Hamlet, and so on.
Along with the puzzles, there are sections devoted to local news. Much of the text relates results of local elections, recent concerts, and prizes earned in exams by local pupils. Other, less typical events include the departure of the local pastor--nicknamed “Daddy Gossip”--the paralyzing of an area man due to a stroke, and the persistence of an epidemic in the village. The editor writes: “The prevailing epidemic has been devastating our peaceful village; most of its inhabitants have suffered more or less from the distressing malady.”
The magazine also feature poems, often towards the end of an issue. While most don't refer to everyday topics, some do shed light on life in the village. One reads: “The electric light it shines so bright / It fills us with a strange delight” ... “At Fyfield town the electric light / ought to be put to cheer the night / but as its not yet on his its way / We are afraid we shant have it on by Christmas Day.”
- Subject Terms:
- English poetry -- 19th century.Fyfield (England : Hampshire)
- Manuscript magazines.
Recreations -- Great Britain.
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