Friday, May 16, 2008

The Cheerful Cricket

The Cheerful Cricket - Jeannette Marks + illust. Edith Brown 1907

The Cheerful Cricket (LoC)

Green Inch-Worm

Slothful Toad

(detail) chromlithographic childrens book

Sullen Caterpillar

Sullen Caterpillar a

The Dizzy Moth

The Humming-Bird

The Mean Spider

The Mean Spider a

The Noisy Fly

The Walking Stick

Vesper Quartette

The delightful chromolithographs above - mostly chapter title pages - were taken from 'The Cheerful Cricket and Others' by Jeannette Marks with illustrations by Edith Brown, 1907, at the Library of Congress. They've been spot cleaned a little and I boosted the colour slightly.

The book is also available at the Internet Archive:

"The Cheerful Cricket and Others is a collection of stories about how different insects and animals learn meaningful life lessons. There are little songs at the end of each story that children and adults can play and sing together."
I'm not sure I can decide if any of the few 'Jeannette Marks' online - possibly a suffragette, proud lesbian, poet, dramatist and/or english professor - are in fact the author of this book. Probably not.

Edith Brown, on the other hand, was a founding member of a group of young women known as the Saturday Evening Girls, who began meeting at the Boston Library in the late 19th century and later established Paul Revere Pottery.
"[The group was] part of a social and cultural endeavor that began in the Boston Public Library in the 1890s. They were the result of the convergence of three major movements influencing Boston at the time: the growth of the Arts and Crafts Movement, the evolving role of women and Women's Movement, and the Settlement House Movement."
See: one, two, three. (None of this has anything to do with the Cricket book at all of course.)


Brett said...

Very Butterfly Ball!

Jane Librizzi said...

You mention arts & crafts in Boston: the Museum of Fine Arts hosted an exhibition of works by the "Saturday Evening Girls" pottery club in 2006. Most of the pottery was from the Museum's collection, so it may be able to be seen by searching their website at Very nice piece. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Some of the story lines(or bits of them) are a little disturbing. I really love the twisted nature antique children's books. it's much more exciting.
thanks for posting another exquisite entry!

The Lone Beader® said...

Just wanted you to know I saw your book for sale at the Tate Modern in London last week. I thought that was very cool! How did you manage that?? :D

Maybe someday I'll have my own book of beaded works for sale there.... :D

peacay said...

Is that you Brett? That movie is entirely too sweet.

Lonebeader, I think I've found my new email sig: "Well hung in the Tate" (I still haven't seen it in a shop myself).

Brett said...

Yep, that's me! It is sweet -- it used to be played a lot as a filler in the ABC's after school program, a long time ago. It's from some rock opera or something I think. But I was looking for a hi-res version and didn't notice that the link I posted doesn't have the original music. This one is better.

PIGNOUF said...

Superbe !
Continuez , on en redemande.

Karla said...

I must agree with Jarac Rogovima that the lovely illustrations seem to be accompanied by a startling amount of death, rendered even more disturbing by the non-sequential arrangement (first Toadie Todson is dead, then he/she/it is sitting there in boots, perhaps as some sort of revenant). But I suspect they were arranged that way on purpose.

"Well hung in the Tate" indeed...

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