London: Cecil Palmer, 1929. Item #05523
"The Largest Format of Any of Jessie M. King’s Illustrated Books"
KING, Jessie M., illustrator. [GEMMELL, Mrs. Alexander]. Mummy's Bedtime Story Book. By "Marion". Illustrated by Jessie M. King. London: Cecil Palmer, .
First edition. Large quarto (11 1/4 x 8 7/8 inches; 286 x 225 mm.). [1-8], 9-56, [1, imprint] pp. Colored frontispiece, title-page and eleven full-page colored illustrations. In addition each page with colored decorations, all by Jessie M. King.
Publisher's color pictorial boards with decorations, color pictorial endpapers, all by Jessie M. King. Minimal rubbing to extremities, otherwise a near fine copy.
The Stories: Peter and Mary, The Story of the Tiresome Rabbit…, A lesson in Manners, Jack Frost, Mother England, If One Eats One Must Work, The Two Imps, The Grandfather Clock, The Story of the Cruel Boy…, The Country of Let's Pretend, Little Wee Mister Brown Hoppity Hop, and Where Babies Come From.
"For several years this title has caused confusion amongst collectors (and biographers). ‘Marion’ was Jessie King’s middle name and it was felt by some that she was the author of the book as well as its illustrator. There were two objections to this hypothesis. The first was that on no other work did JMK sign herself ‘Marion’. The other was the fact that in the author’s introduction she speaks of ‘my children’. Jessie M. King had only one child, her daughter Merle, although it was possible that the plural might have been referring to the appeal of her work to children in general. Matters were resolved when, in the mid-1990’s, the descendants of the late Mrs. Gemmel revealed the true identity of the author.
[Marion Donaldson was the daughter of Archibald Donaldson of the Donaldson sipping line (founded 1855) and married the shipbroker Alexander Gemmell].
Jessie M. King will have known Cecil Palmer from the days when he was employed by Foulis as their London manager. At the end of the First World War he had left the firm to form his own business and it was presumably he who commissioned JMK to provide illustrations for the ‘Hullo Boys/Hullo Girls’ annuals of 1924-25…
Mummy’s Bedtime Story Book was richly printed in color by photo-offset and had the largest format of any of Jessie M. King’s illustrated books. It was the only one totally illustrated by her for the Cecil Palmer imprint." (Colin White. A Guide to the Printed Work of Jessie M. King, p.83).