My Father

Mary Belson (Elliott), 1812


Born around 1792 into a Quaker family, Mary Belson was a prolific and popular early nineteenth century writer of books for children. She married in 1819 and thereafter wrote under her married name, Mary Elliott.

‘My Father’ was a poem written by Mary and published by William Darton in February 1812. The poem recounts six childhood scenes where the father affectionately guides his child, each verse charmingly illustrated.

Although initially published separately, this copy of the poem is accompanied by the very rare hand-coloured engraved wooden jigsaw puzzle that was issued two months later in April 1812. Complete in 36 pieces with printed captions above and below each image, it is all contained in the original wooden box.

The booklet of six leaves printed on one side only is largely dis-bound and rather dog-earred! The puzzle is complete with a small area of paper loss to the top of one piece and a small gap where a piece has not been cut correctly. There is also partial loss to the paper label on the sliding lid of the box.

Item Ref. 6186

Size: box, 163 x 122mm