Sunday, January 8, 2023

Old school library copy of "The Glass Slipper"

I discovered this old school library copy of The Glass Slipper, written by Eleanor Farjeon (1881-1965) and illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard (1879-1976), at the Salvation Army store in Casa Grande, Arizona. First published in 1955 (this is the 1967 printing) it's a new version of the old tale of Cinderella. "Eleanor Farjeon's magical way of re-creating an old folk-tale with fresh and original beauty has endeared her to thousands of devoted readers," states the dust jacket.

The book is actually a novelization of a play by the same name that Farjeon published in 1944 with her brother, Herbert Farjeon.

This copy spent a long time in school libraries. There are checked-out dates between 1971 and 1989. It is stamped inside with both WEST SCHOOL and ELOY JUNIOR HIGH LIBRARY, which is a Phoenix-area school. (So, the book didn't wander far.)

This cursive note appears on the title page:
November 13, 1967 — Viking — $3.30 — Alesco [?]
West School 423
1/70 Gift from West
The book is generally well-reviewed and beloved over at Goodreads. I thought this 2020 review from Julia Wise nicely summed up the pros and cons: "Delightful wordplay and rhymes, frothy, fun. My six-year-old was desperate for each next chapter even though it's not exactly a surprise how it ends. Typical early 20th-century fat shaming which I edited out on the fly, but for its age it wasn't as sexist as I thought it might be."

Here's a portion of a page that I think gives a good example of both the prose and Shepard's fun illustrations. 
It's always fun to find a used book with its circulation card and card pocket intact. It's a wonderful snapshot of all those who read it (or at least checked it out) over the years. In this instance, it appears that The Glass Slipper was read exclusively by girls here in Arizona. And they all had very good handwriting. It also spy one student who checked out the book out twice: once in the autumn and then again in the late winter. I suspect she must have really liked it.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I know E.H. Shepard well from his work on Winnie-the-Pooh!