Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Write for the BIOGRAPHICAL Genre (12/04/14)
TITLE: "Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake, Baker's Man"
By Marlene Bonney
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
There has also been found that an 8th century French queen, Bertrada of Laon and mother of Charlemagne, had been nicknamed “Goose-foot Bertha.” A publication of “La Muse Historique” by Jean Loret contained the passage, “like a Mother Goose story,” but this is the only evidence on whether the queen told or made up tales or stories—other than her nickname containing the word, “Goose.”
Scholars and historians, unable to substantiate either of these women as the real Mother Goose, have settled on the more probable idea that the name infers an ‘everywoman/mother’ figure. Regardless, rhymes and tales all over the world have been told to mothers’ children throughout history under the Mother Goose authorship as this tradition was handed down from generation to generation.
Setting the stage for Mother Goose becoming a household word was a published collection of eight fairy tales in 1697 by Charles Perrault, “Histories and Tales of Long Ago, with Morals,” the frontispiece showing an old woman spinning while she told stories with ‘Tales of My Mother the Goose’ printed beneath it.
In 1744, a collection of Nursery Rhymes was born, although the first compilation of nursery rhymes using the term, ‘Mother Goose’ wasn’t published for another thirty-five years. Thereafter, publishers and printers and the populace adopted their own versions of this doubtful author. Most times, accompanying published illustrations depicted her as an old crone with a witchy appearance.
It wasn’t until 1786 that the United States caught up the vision, Isaiah Thomas publishing the first American edition of “Mother Goose’s Melody.” Seventy-four years later, there was found a claim that a collection of Mother Goose rhymes had surfaced as early as 1719 under the title, “Songs of the Nursery; or Mother Goose’s Melodies For Children.” The title page showed a picture of a long-necked, wide open-mouthed goose with the inscription: ‘Printed by Thomas Fleet, at his Printing House in Pudding Lane, 1719. Price, two coppers.’ English-born in 1685, Thomas Fleet moved to America in 1812. He had married Elizabeth Goose in 1715, so it is thought he used her name to initiate the term, “Mother Goose.” As with the previous two speculations, investigation has revealed no traceable evidence to support this story.
In 1765, with his adoption of Mother Goose as a writer of children’s rhymes, John Newbery was a chief instigator of promoting her by adopting her name for a collection of mostly traditional rhymes. “Mother Goose’s Melody: or Sonnets for the Cradle,” a tiny tome that was believed to be edited by Oliver Goldsmith, complete with “unchildlike” footnote maxims. One pirated edition of the Newbery Mother Goose had a picture of a pointed-nosed old biddy, telling a couple of children:
“Fudge! I tell you that all their batterings can’t deface my beauties, nor their wise pratings my wiser prattlings; and all imitators of my refreshing songs might as well try to write a new Billy Shakespeare as another Mother Goose! We two poets were born together, and we shall go out of the world together. No, No, my Melodies will never die, While nurses sing, or babies cry.”
Marketing strategists have turned all this speculation into lucrative avenues of varying success, the sing-song melodies and rhymes having caught hold of their readers’ imaginations throughout the centuries.
Proven or not, Mother Goose has robbed the original fairytale and rhyme writers of their birthrights, both men and women, who handed down their folk tales for centuries. Perhaps this is not necessarily a negative, since in so doing, dozens of nonsensical rhymes have been compiled in generic volumes for all to enjoy and have not been hampered by author rights accompanied by various regulations that would have sent them into obscurity.
Information taken from The Mother Goose Society and Mother Goose Origins websites.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.