THE ANNOTATED MOTHER GOOSE by William & Ceil-Eds. Baring-Gould


Email this review


The Baring-Goulds have anthologized the lullabies, prayers, riddles, counting songs and the tongue twisters which we in the United States lump under the wing of Mother Goose. The question of just who Mother Goose was, if anyone at all, is of course treated by the editors, not as theorists but as scholarly reporters. Some have claimed she was the Queen of Sheba, others that she was Queen Bertha, mother of King Charlemagne. American scholars -- most of them -- have pointed to Elizabeth Foster Goose, whose son-in-law published a collection of rhymes the woman told her grandchildren to ""lull"" the little ones. The collection, ""a bibliographic mystery"", which repeated advertisements and researches have failed to bring to light, was allegedly printed in 1719 and called songs for the Nursery. The complete Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book, Volume II, ""the earliest known book of nursery rhymes"" is here (1744), as are the rhymes first published by Newbery and Goldsmith (1760) and Nancy Cock's Pretty Song Book for all Little Misses and Misters. There is a short section of introduction before each verse block in which the Baring-Gould trace the nursery rhyme to the present. Annotations, many line by line, consider the various political, social, historical interpretations by scholars. Similar in design to The Alice, there will be illustrations by , Greenaway and Crane, including early historical woodcuts.

Publisher: Clarkson N. Potter