Sunday, February 20, 2011

A photo of Ruth Manning-Sanders

Somewhere on this planet, there are photos of Ruth Manning-Sanders. She lived past the age of 100. She traveled with and wrote about circuses. She lived until 1988. She published more than 100 books.

But, to this point, I have only come across a single photographic image of her.

The image, shown here, is from Page 187 of "Third Book of Junior Authors" which was edited by Doris De Montreville and Donna Hill and published by the H.W. Wilson Company in 1972.

That's it. Just a black-and-white, slightly grainy side portrait. There's no way, even, to know what decade it's from.

Online image searches net nothing but covers and illustrations from her many books of folktales.1 No photos of Manning-Sanders herself.

Somewhere, I hope and suspect, there is a British library or Manning-Sanders descendant with photos of Manning-Sanders. I hope they surface some day. For the sake of history, we need a face to associate with this woman, who was one of the greatest and most important collectors of fairy tales in the modern era.

1. Many of those books were illustrated by Robin Jacques. Images of his illustrations are plentiful and instantly recognizable.


  1. I went to Ruth Manning-Sanders' 100th birthday party in Penzance in 1988 - I have one unflattering picture. Her grandson John Floyd was a book dealer in Penzance. A Google finds him as the book expert with David Lay auction house in Penzance. He must have some good photos. Did you know that Ruth's daughter used to find the folk tales and translate them into English? Ruth then rewrote them in her own way. She was the cousin of my ancestor - I had no idea she was such an important collector of fairy tales.

  2. Wow. That's a treasure trove of insight. Thank you, Anonymous! I would love to discuss Manning-Sanders further with you, if you're willing. You can email me at