A Christmas Nursery Rhyme

As #Folkore Thursday finished for the year last week we thought we’d make our own up today, a folklore Wednesday if you will (not wanting to encroach on anyone’s patch), finding one more opportunity to rave about our folkloric goldmines in Special Collections just one last time before the Christmas break.

In searching items for our Special Collections #AdventCalendar there was one little boy that just kept popping up and so today’s post is all about the well-known English nursery rhyme featuring the plummy, Little Jack Horner.

The Rhyme we know today seen here is thought to have been established by 1870 but that references to the character Jack Horner could date back to 1725.

The boy above looks rather sad and lonely compared to the cheeky chappy below who looks very pleased with himself. Watch out for that knife!

From ‘Struwwelpeter’ c 1860

One could surmise that the two above are kitchen boys and their Christmas pies a much needed fabulous treat, while the boy below is looking a little more well-dressed and bourgeois sitting on his little stool next to a warm and well-kept fireplace with his cat. He’s even got a napkin!

From A. A. Milne’s ‘Aunt Louisa’s Nursery Rhymes’ c 1860

We hope you all get your own Christmas pie this year and Santa thinks you are worthy of finding a plum!

Natalie and Katharine

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