Eleanor Farjeon's most notable books are 'Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard' (1921) and its sequel, 'Martin Pippin in the Daisy Field (1937)'. Set in Sussex, they include descriptions of real villages and features such as the chalk cliffs and the Long Man of Wilmington. In "Apple Orchard", the six love stories (similar to Perrault's 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Cinderella') have a depth which is adult in sentiment, and were in fact written not for a child but for a young soldier, Victor Haslam, who had been a close friend of Edward Thomas. Themes include the apparent loss of a loved one, betrayal, and a woman's yearning for love. "Martin Pippin in the Daisy Field" concerns six little girls whom the troubadour Martin entertains while they are making daisy chains. The six stories, this time written specifically for children, include 'Elsie Piddock Skips in her Sleep' which has been published separately and is considered the finest of all Farjeon's stories. Also unforgettable is the hilarious adventure of an outrageous liar and failed magician in 'Tom Cobble and Oonie'.
Eleanor Farjeon (1881–1965) was an English author of children's stories and plays, poetry, biography, history and satire. Several of her works had illustrations by Edward Ardizzone. Some of her correspondence has also been published. She won many literary awards and the Eleanor Farjeon Award for children's literature is presented annually in her memory by the Children's Book Circle, a society of publishers. She was the sister of the thriller writer Joseph Jefferson Farjeon, and a lifelong friend of Edward Thomas and his wife.
Isobel Laurie Morton-Sale (1904-1992 was an artist and illustrator of singular delicacy, and co-founder with her husband, John, of the Parnassus Gallery, well-known in their time for outstanding reproductions of great and lesser-known works of art.
Our copy of the book is in generally good condition, bound in (now rather grubby) yellow cloth with a somewhat darkened spine on which the title etc are in silver lettering within a silver line border. No dust jacket. There are some minor signs of shelf wear (bumped corners, top & bottom of spine) but no frank damage. Inside, the binding is firm, and the pages generally clean and bright with just one or two minor brownish stains here and there. The free endpapers are badly browned, and the front fep bears an ink-written gift inscription dated 1956. The recipient's name is on the inside of the front cover, which also shows where a small ?bookseller's label has been removed from the bottom inside corner.