1892 Als- Jack & Jill Author To Mother Goose Author Re Story Problem
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1892 Als- Jack & Jill Author To Mother Goose Author Re Story Problem:
Good content 4 pg. ALS, June 26, 1892, San Francisco, Palace Hotel, by W. E. Brown (b. 1825), author of "Jack & Jill; A Love Story" (1891). Brown is writing to William H. Whittemore, Editor of the Mother Goose Melodies. In this letter, he explains who he is, that he was weaned on Mother Goose in 1835, and wrote his own Jack and Jill romance story based on the what he understood to be the origin of the Mother Goose Rhymes, only to be surprised that at the time he was writing his book, Whittemore was also writing a book trying to refute the Mother Goose story origins that he (Brown) had relied upon in writing his book. Ouch! Brown encloses a newspaper book review (included) from Sacramento on Whittemore's book. Brown writes, in part: "I have read ... your book- "Mother Goose's Melody" ... I wrote and published in the interest of a "Boys Free Library" in this City a little volume called "Jack and Jill", in which I introduced some pages of memorial as to the Goose family in Boston. I had read the transcript history and remembered the Worcester edition of Mother Goose which was published I think in 1835... Taking the transcript article as a basis, I have made a little romance in connection with the Mother Goose Melodies... The result has been the formation of a Boys Free Library & Reading Rooms... which has been a great success. It seems to be the irony of events that while I was weaning my unpretending little romance, you were engaged in your very interesting effort to disprove the incidents upon which I was relying for my best effects.. Yours, W. E. Brown." W.E. Brown was born and raised in Worcester, MA, but eventually made his way to Sacramento and then San Francisco, California. A supporter of youth and the Kindergarten Movement (he was President of the Kindergarten Society), and especially the Silver Street Kindergarten School he dedicated his Jack and Jill romance to Kate Douglas Wiggin, the pioneer in free kindergartens on the Pacific Coast (she est. in 1878 in S.F., the 1st kindergarten west of the Rocky Mountains). The proceeds of this work were to fund a Boy's Library, which was established at the Silver Street Kindergarten. The introductory facts as printed in Brown's book (which were simultaneously trying to be refuted by Whittemore) was the origin of Mother Goose Melodies in America. The facts, as Brown believed them to be, was that Mother Goose Melodies (or Rhymes) originated in a 1719 book "Songs for the Nursery, or Mother Goose Melodies for Children" by Boston resident Elizabeth Vertigoose [her surname was eventually shortened to Goose]. In 1715, her daughter, also named Elizabeth, married Boston printer Thomas Fleet. The Fleet's first child was named "Jack" and as a doting grandmother, Elizabeth Goose used to sing lullabies to Jack which were the inspiration for the melodies in a series of publications her son-in-law Thomas Fleet published-- such as "Jack Sprat", "Jack Horner", "Jack the Giant Killer" "The House that Jack built" and "Jack and Jill." Whittemore, an antiquarian and genealogist in Boston, studied the issue and concluded that Mother Goose did not originate in Boston. Historically, he is probably correct. While the Goose family and Fleet were real people and Thomas did published his 1719 book on Mother Goose, his mother-in-law Elizabeth Goose died in 1690, before Jack was even born. What is more likely is that Fleet's book [which probably was the first use of the pseudonym Mother Goose in English America] was a compilation works from Europe going back to 1650 that Fleet embellished because his mother-in-law's name was Goose. [In 1833 there was only 1 copy of Fleet's 1719 known to exist. It was republished as "The Only True Mother Goose." and this perpetuated the Boston story]. Brown wrote other works, including "Ode to Rameses" in 1898. Brown's 1891 book "Jack and Jill, a Romance" is eagerly sought by collectors. Comes w/ address envelope to Whittemore (stamp removed) and period newspaper reviews of both Brown and Whittemore's two books. The letter in good condition. The envelope is missing the stamp. Buyer pays $2.25 shipping.