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Skeleton Leaf, Quotation and A Childhood Book

26 Mar

1   On my walk back from town this morning, I had my head down against the cold and saw this fragile leaf flattened on the pavement.

Skeleton leaf

Skeleton leaf

2   I found this quotation today and loved it.

“There is space on everyone’s book shelves for books one has outgrown but cannot give away. They hold one’s youth between their leaves, like flowers pressed on a half-forgotten summer’s day.”   Marion Garretty b. 1917

Marilyn asked in her blog some time ago about favourite childhood books and I said ‘Horton the Elephant’ but, sadly,  I don’t still have him on my shelves.

3   What I do have is a book that, as a little girl,  frequently moved me to tears but I loved it and asked to have it on again and again. It is A Talking Book of ‘The Happy Prince’  by Oscar Wilde and it so beautifully illustrated.

The Happy Prince - cover

The Happy Prince – cover

The Happy Prince at the start, crying to see the poor in his city

The Happy Prince at the start, crying to see the poor in his city

The little match girl to whom the swallow has taken a sapphire - the second of the Prince's eyes

The little match girl to whom the swallow has taken a sapphire – the second of the Prince’s eyes

The Happy Prince at the end, blind and drab having given away all his gold and being kissed goodbye by the swallow before he dies

The Happy Prince at the end, blind and drab, having given away all his gold and being kissed goodbye by the swallow before he dies.

There are no words just enormous pictures and a record tucked inside the back cover to be played at 78rpm! It comes with the instructions –  “This is a Talking Book. Start the record. The voice will tell you when to ‘turn the page’ or ‘turn’. When you have listened to Part 1, play the other side.”

The record

The record

Just writing about it, I can hear the words (which I haven’t heard for years) and can feel my eyes prickling!

 

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19 responses to “Skeleton Leaf, Quotation and A Childhood Book

  1. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    March 29, 2013 at 10:43 am

    That looks like a lovely book, Sally – a preciously lovely book. I am really going to show up my ignorance now, but I didn’t realise Oscar Wilde did any children’s books, fair tales or the like. All the more precious, then.

     
  2. Kathleen Richardson

    March 27, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Beautiful skeleton leaf, Sally!

     
  3. Alex Autin

    March 27, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    How few people would notice the skeleton leaf as they made their way home on a cold morning. (Your photograph, enlarged, is amazing, btw!)

    Thanks for sharing The Happy Prince, a story I’ve never read.

     
    • mybeautfulthings

      March 27, 2013 at 6:19 pm

      It is such a beautiful story. I love it so!

      Thank you for your appreciation of the skeleton leaf. I had to put all the shopping down on the path to get that one but couldn’t resist it! 🙂

       
      • Alex Autin

        March 27, 2013 at 6:23 pm

        You’re making me wonder about all the things I miss during the a day, not wonder in a bad way — but in a wonderful way!

         
  4. flowerpot

    March 27, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Oh I love that book Sally! Sniff xx

     
  5. xpat92xpat92

    March 27, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Hi,
    This post has such delicate beauty. The leaf and the talking book are reminding us of our fragility…

     
  6. valeriedavies

    March 27, 2013 at 3:07 am

    Lovely post Sally.. I’d forgotten that beautiful Oscar Wilde story – he wrote so many exquisite things.. Re the skeleton leaf – do you have your camera on you all the time????

     
    • mybeautfulthings

      March 27, 2013 at 6:16 am

      It’s in my hand or pocket at all times!

      It is a beautiful story, isn’t it? I think it helped to form my political views! 🙂

       
  7. childtasticbooks

    March 26, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    The leaf and the story are so well matched. I love skeleton leaves – they’re incredibly beautiful. And The Happy Prince … I just had to look at those pictures to feel my eyes prickling. It’s such a lovely story but incredibly sad. How amazing though to have a talking book like that!

     
    • mybeautfulthings

      March 26, 2013 at 10:00 pm

      I just wish I could play it! Mr S tells me he might be able to get a special stylus for our record deck and he’s going to try to find one for me. That would be so lovely. 🙂

       
  8. djdfr

    March 26, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    As I looked at the books on the shelves in our living room, I wondered why keep them, but then thought they represent my journey.
    Most of my favorites, I have never owned; they were read at the library.

     
    • mybeautfulthings

      March 26, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      You are right – they do represent our individual journeys. Many of my favourites came from the library, especially when I was a child. Lovely memories 🙂

       
  9. Choc Chip Uru

    March 26, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Thank you for a morning story my friend 😀

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

     
  10. babyjill7...Marilyn Griffin

    March 26, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    Had so many of them…but, now are all gone after giving them to a niece long ago…Maybe she has some…but, I doubt it…So glad you found this one and have kept it…beautiful story …

     
    • mybeautfulthings

      March 26, 2013 at 7:22 pm

      Thank you. I am really pleased to have this one. Thank you for the heads-up on favourite childhood book. Hope the ping back worked! 🙂

       
  11. mixedupmeme

    March 26, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    The 78 records. 🙂 Worth a fortune. Wish I hadn’t thrown them in the trash. 🙁

     
    • mybeautfulthings

      March 26, 2013 at 7:00 pm

      All our others are gone! That one was protected by being hidden in the book! 🙂

       

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