This is my re-creation of a children’s book PD image by Randolph Caldecott, who was an illustrator and artist from the 19th century. He was a well-known children’s book illustrator and typically his books cost a shilling a piece. The image is based on the nursery rhyme, Hey Diddle Diddle, which I assume most people know. It is called “And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon,” and was produced by George Routledge and Sons in 1882.
My version is modified from the original version, you can see the original version here which also includes the scandalous story behind the nursery rhyme. You should check it out.
Many of the old, well-loved, nursery rhymes were based on historic events. Mary Mary Quite Contrary was actually about the homicidal nature of Queen Mary I of England a.k.a. Bloody Mary. It’s quite fascinating actually and I often wonder if the children knew exactly what they were singing about. Interesting thought!
We all know how much technology has changed the way we do things, but the other day I was thinking specifically about the print industry. How e-books, online magazines and news sites have almost taken over from their paper counterparts, if they haven’t done so already!
I enjoy reading an actual paperback myself, however as I was waiting for an appointment the other day, it was wonderful to be able to take out my tablet, purchase an e-book, and at least enjoy this ‘wasted’ time reading. (I bought Proof of Life After Death, by Vanayssa Somers, which is a very interesting read if anyone is interested). I rarely have time to read these days, simply for pleasure that is, so it was actually quite the treat.
It has been years since I have picked up a newspaper and, if I am honest, that’s mostly because I have no desire to read one. However, I always used to enjoy doing the crossword, but even that has changed to playing “Words with Friends” on my phone So, out of curiosity more than anything, I thought I would do some research on the paper vs. tech trend and stumbled upon a clip about the newspaper industry and how it had changed historically. It was reading about the history that inspired this artwork.
In the late 1880s the majority of all newspapers were sold by newsboys. From street corners to theaters to train stations, anywhere where there were a lot of people ‘newsies’ could be found. Newsboys ranged in age from as young as six to grown men, however the majority were between the ages of 10 -13. It was a very competitive trade and you would hear them calling out the headlines hustling for tips. By 1920, tougher child labour laws and a growing desire for home delivery, ended the newspapers’ reliance on street sales.