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LITTLE POEMS for Little People. By M. S. C.

LITTLE POEMS for Little People. By M. S. C.

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LITTLE POEMS for Little People. By M. S. C.

by [CLAUDE, Mary Sophia]

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About This Item

FIRST EDITION. 12mo, pp. 80; wood-engraved frontispiece and 14 wood-engraved head-pieces, several signed by Birket Foster; original green cloth with decorative boarder in blind ad a decorative gilt tile cartouche on upper cover, a few light marks but a fine copy.

Mary Claude's small book of poetry for 'little people' was well received with The Weekly Chronicle enthusing that it had 'all the freshness of a happy childhood about it. Full of light fancy, pure thoughts, and sweet English words, such as a peal of bluebells might ring out; it is a mate every way worthy of a loving, love-creating nature.' Mary (1820-1912) is thought to be Matthew Arnold's muse for "Marguerite", she was known both to the Arnold family and was also a friend of Arthur Clough's sister Anne. 'It is not hard to imagine that a twenty-five year old Matthew Arnold would have been attracted to the beautiful (according to Hartley Coleridge) Mary Claude, who was continental, multi-lingual, literary, and a kindred spirit.'

'Little Poems for Little People (1847), makes no claim to interest any reader but a child. It contains poems about nature in the plainest sense, asking the child-reader to look at some bit of nature, either a little creature or a natural phenomenon. The narrator's voice is firmly in control, like the teacher of a class, and seldom do any of the little boys or girls in the poems talk for themselves. For the most part the narrator tells the child-reader about the natural world of birds, beasts, children, babies, and flowers and what lesson is to be learned from them. Usually the final stanza points the moral, signalled by beginning with "then" or "so," and often the moral is reinforced with a quotation from the bible at the foot of the page. Typical beginnings of Mary Claude's final stanzas:

So God gives even children power ("The Baby")
Then let us praise the Holy God ("Little Children")Then know that every thought of good ("Snow Drops")
God teaches all their proper work ("Hens and Chickens")For God in heaven never sleeps ("Night")
And pray to God for all your heart ("The Coal Pit")And if we mind his voice ("The Lambs")

'Mary spent much of her childhood in the Lake District, a few miles from the home of the still-living Wordsworth, and it is Wordsworth's influence one feels is in many of these poems. She uses care, if not imagination, in describing the traits and behaviours of bees, babies, robins, snow drops, lambs, daisies, skylarks, mice, glow worms, and swallows. The natural subjects could be Wordsworth's, and her human subjects are also occasionally Wordsworthian, like the deaf boy in "The Child and the Flowers" in Twilight Thoughts, and the blind boy in the poem "The Blind Boy." poems and the tales there are other subjects and titles that sound more Arnoldian than Wordsworthian, some of which seem to be favourite subjects for her, such as the moon, the daisy (Marguerite), the sea, the mountains, and the final poem in Little Poems, "The Hidden Life."' [All quotes from Donna Jan Pridmore].

See Donna Jan Pridmore. Mary S. Claude. An Introduction. at; OCLC: 18730614.


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Pickering & Chatto, Antiquarian Booksellers GB (GB)
Bookseller's Inventory #
LITTLE POEMS for Little People. By M. S. C.
[CLAUDE, Mary Sophia]
Book Condition
Quantity Available
Chapman and Hall, 186 Strand.
Place of Publication
Date Published
0.00 lbs
Bookseller catalogs
Children's Books; Women in Literature & Society;

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Pickering & Chatto, Antiquarian Booksellers

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About the Seller

Pickering & Chatto, Antiquarian Booksellers

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio member since 2021
Croydon, Surrey

About Pickering & Chatto, Antiquarian Booksellers

Pickering & Chatto has been dealing in rare books for the best part of two centuries. Since 2014 we have been based in the vestry of St. Clement's Church in the City of London, and have a stock of some 2000+ books, principally in the fields of literature, philosophy, social sciences, science and medicine, law and women's studies, from the fifteenth to the first decades of the twentieth century.Due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions our offices are at present closed. We are, however, always happy to receive any inquiries by email.


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The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in...
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the...
The book is pristine and free of any defects, in the same condition as ...
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