Thursday, July 22, 2010

22nd July Margery Williams (1881 - 1944)

Author Margery Williams was born in London, but her father died suddenly when she was seven and her mother moved the family to America. Wanting to be a writer and publish books in England Margery moved back there when she was 21. After marrying an Italian and surviving the Great War she moved once again to America. Here, she wrote and published in 1922, her best known book, a book for children The Velveteen Rabbit. This beautiful story about a toy rabbit that is so loved he becomes real combines the themes of loss and love. While some see death as an inappropriate theme for young children, this story handles sadness, sickness and loss poignantly and no doubt builds on her own childhood experiences.

The original book was illustrated by William Nicholson in pastel line drawings, but subsequent versions of the book have had much bolder illustrations. The illustrations by Michael Hague and Donna Green instil more vigour into the story and rabbit without losing the original sensitivity.

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