Pop-up books – Fairy-tales

Paper-mechanics have been around for centuries but the phrase ‘pop-up book’ was only copyrighted in 1932 (by Blue Ribbon Press, Chicago). You can find out more about the history and makers on the excellent The Popuplady So here are a few images from my collection. I’ve chosen some fairy-tales on this occasion because of the […]

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Variations on a tale

“She was my first love. I felt that if I could have married Little Red Riding-Hood, I should have known perfect bliss.” Charles Dickens, A Christmas Tree. These ‘scrap’ or ‘die-cut’ sheets both date from the late 50s/early 60s – one was produced in what was then the GDR, the other in ‘West Germany’. I know […]

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Modes of Travel – part 2

“It rained and snowed terribly; besides, the wind was so high, that it threw him twice off his horse, and night coming on, he began to apprehend being either starved to death with cold and hunger, or else devoured by the wolves, whom he heard howling all round him, when, on a sudden, looking through […]

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медведи – bears

Russia is in the quarter-finals! The ‘Northern Bear’ was, according to The Wordsworth Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, an old nickname for Russia. And it is still true that Russia (in political cartoons) is usually depicted as a bear, even though only very few cities have the bear in their coat of arms, the Country’s coat of […]

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Modes of Travel – part 1

“One day it occurred to me that it had been many years since the world had been afforded the spectacle of a man adventurous enough to undertake a journey in Europe on foot.” is the opening sentence of Mark Twain’s ‘A Tramp Abroad‘ Having just been to Heidelberg and wandered around the woods on the […]

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Tales of Wonder

Luck or Fate would have it that I noticed and was able to attend an illustrated lecture by Jack Zipes last Thursday. Organised by the Folklore Society it took place at the Warburg Institute in London. “Fairy Tales with Wings: Reading Fairy Tales through Picture Postcards” was the title of the lecture  – obviously right […]

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Strange dreams came over him

Strange dreams came over him, while he thus slept. It seemed as if the old woman was taking off his clothes, and putting on him the skin of a squirrel. Now he could make bounds and climb like a squirrel; he associated with the other squirrels and guinea-pigs, who were all very polite, decent people, […]

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