London: William Heinemann, 1913. Item #03547
Hey! Diddle Diddle, The Cat and the Fiddle…
[RACKHAM, Arthur, illustrator]. Mother Goose. The Old Nursery Rhymes. Illustrated by Arthur Rackham. London: William Heinemann, .
Edition de Luxe. Limited to 1,130 numbered copies (of which this is number 31), signed by the artist. Large quarto (11 3/8 x 9 inches; 290 x 228 mm.). xi, [1, blank], 159,  pp. Thirteen color plates mounted on brown paper, with descriptive tissue guards, and eighty-five drawings in black and white (one mounted on brown paper, with descriptive tissue guard).
Original white buckram pictorially stamped and lettered in gilt on front cover and spine. Top edge gilt, others uncut.
Minimal darkening to spine otherwise a near fine copy.
"So far as titles go … we move into a different key with Mother Goose, a book constructed in 1913 from a series of plates and line drawings which had appeared and would appear in St Nicholas between 1912 and 1914. These poems were chosen by Rackham, presumably in terms of themes and subjects he wished to illustrate: this would account for the consistently good quality of the many plates and of the numerous line drawings. Among the most noticeable of pictures in this book are 'Hark! Hark! the dogs do bark!" which has Rackham delighting in rags and tatters a deal more colourful than might be expected in our own age, and the altogether curious colour plate 'Old Mother Goose', remarkable for its composition, in which the black forests and borders merge to form an underlying pictorial structure reminiscent of Nolde or Munch, the colour also being virtually expressionist in feeling. This plate is an aberration, so far as the rest of the book is concerned, for within this we have the usual Rackham motley of lovely women, Rackham-faced gnomes, and all the images we might expect of the title. Quite appropriately Rackham illustrates 'As I was going to St Ives' with his own portrait, in a situation which is almost akin to a schizophrenic's dream, with the dance of seven witches, and the multiples of seven cats and kittens." (Fred Gettings. Arthur Rackham, pp.131-132).
Latimore and Haskell, pp. 40-41. Riall, p. 115.