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F., Frances H.

Rhymes ancient and modern!.

Great Britain, 1900.
Physical Description:
10 volumes : illustrations ; 21 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
PZ7.F2 R4 1900+ Oversize
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Archives & Manuscripts
Volume of manuscript nursery rhymes, with watercolor illustrations, compiled by Frances H.F., for the benefit of her nephew and niece, George and Charley Oldfield. Inscribed on front pastedown: "George and Charley Oldfield, with love from Auntie Frances, Xmas 1900." The verse may be original, especially since one of the rhymes mentions "Miss Charley" and "Master George." The subject matter fits with what one might expect to find in a children's book; there are nursery rhymes about good behavior, truth, patience, friendship and more. The illustrations demonstrate modest skill. Ten of the first fourteen figures depicted are painted with their faces covered or turned away, suggesting that the artist may not have been confident depicting faces.
After the 14th nursery rhyme, the compiler includes verse about the Second Boer War (1899-1902). This story promotes national pride and military propaganda, though it is disguised as a tale for children. The verse includes a number of references to Paul Kruger, President of the South African Republic from 1883 to 1900. Kruger is also depicted being chased by a British soldier: “Bending Boers to Britain's will / Blotting out Majuba Hill / Guards and Gordons with a shout, / Giving Paul the right about.” This text references Majuba Hill, which was the site of the final battle of the First Boer War in which the Boers defeated the British in a humiliating fashion. This text, along with other texts in this story that reference dying comrades do not seem particularly appropriate for children. Given that this book was written in the middle of the war (“...when the fighting's finished...”) it is possible that George and Charley Oldfield's father was a combatant, with Auntie Frances making this present for them in his honor.
Subject Terms:
English poetry -- 19th century.
Kruger, Paul, 1825-1904.
Majuba Hill, Battle of, South Africa, 1881.
Oldfield, Charley.
Oldfield, George.
South African War, 1899-1902 -- Poetry.
Juvenile literature.
Nursery rhymes.

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