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The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies Hardcover – October 14, 2002
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About the Author
Cicely Mary Barker was born in Croydon, South London in 1895 and died in 1973. She found international acclaim as an artist with her delightful Flower Fairies books the first of which, Flower Fairies of the Spring, was printed in 1923.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
The World is very old;But year by yearIt groweth new againWhen buds appear.
The World is very old,And sometimes sad;But when the daisies comeThe World is glad.
The World is very old;But every SpringIt groweth young again, And fairies sing.
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If you go to 'flowerfairyprints.com' you'll find a full list of the fairies that belonged originally to each volume, and see just how much has been lost here. It didn't start with Warne, this habit of omitting etc, but it's certainly continued by them. So: a number of fairies are missing from the summer collection and the wayside collection, and the fairies of the alphabet collection have been cropped a lot in some cases to fit in a smaller space - as marginal illustrations instead of full-page (e.g. 'King cup' picture has only one elf instead of two).
I don't understand why Warne has not chosen to bring out an edition that has ALL the fairies in the good-quality reproductions they know how to do (see their 'Deluxe' volume, which has almost all the missing fairies' pictures, only 'goose-grass getting no mention at all, but by no means all the poems). As it is, if you want ALL pictures and poems in one book, and can't afford the first edition - which is v expensive to acquire, but I assume has them all) you have to buy editions of the '60s and 70s - before the 1985 Blackie edns (the '85 Blackie edn of 'summer' has a lot of omissions..I don't know about the others) These earlier edns do have ALL pictures and poems but have cropped the pictures somewhat anyway at the edges, and don't have such good-quality reproductions (in my opinion) as these latest ones by Warne.
If it doesn't bother you to miss out on some fairies, then by all means buy this volume. But for those of us who have known them all as children, it's upsetting to see some of them exiled and forgotten! I wonder what Ms Barker herself would have felt about the industry that has been made out of her work, with so little respect for the integrity of the whole.
This is a lovely edition with a one-page introduction of Cicely Mary Barker and an index. The pictures are printed clearly and evenly spaced which are key to appreciating Barker’s art that brought lasting charm to all her books.
To learn more about her life’s work “Cicely Mary Barker and Her Art” by Jane Laing is a good survey and commentary of some of her finest art and sketches besides that of her Flower Fairies (however, it does include a section of these, too). It is also a wonderful biography of Barker’s life and publishing career, 128 pages long.
Being an Artist, Drawing, Painting, and such. I love this new book on Flower Fairies !
It has Inspired me in some ways. The Fairies from A to Z are SO cute !
I give it 4 stars.