- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Penguin (7 Oct. 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141030984
- ISBN-13: 978-0141030982
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Pop Goes the Weasel: The Secret Meanings of Nursery Rhymes Paperback – 7 Oct 2010
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An irresistible treasure-trove ... The way these gossipy little rhymes give us a snapshot of everyday life in centuries gone by is enchanting. You'll never look at nursery rhymes again in the same way (Daily Mirror)
The history behind nursery rhymes is not only highly specific but often splendidly grim. This book is a reminder of the riches below the surface: characters, jokes, events and stories (The Times)
'The history behind nursery rhymes is not only highly specific but often splendidly grim. This book is a reminder of the riches below the surface: characters, jokes, events and stories'
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is written in an easy style and is accessible to all. The sort of book which is easy to pick up and put down as it has short chapters. It is the sort of book, whose information you feel the need to share or read aloud.
What is still a mystery is why the rhymes have lasted in some cases for two or three centuries.
When I purchased this book, Amazon recomended buying "Now Then Lad"!! This also is a fantastic read.
In this book, the author sometimes failed to establish clearly the origins of some of them, offering conflicting theories and suggesting the one that is likeliest to be true. However, he has no doubt that Humpty Dumpty was originally a cannon that sat in a church tower during the English Civil War. The cannon was very effective at protecting the royalist stronghold of Colchester until one day when the republicans managed to bring down the entire church tower. So Humpty Dumpty had a great fall and all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty together again. The question of the origin of the name is not answered, nor even asked in this book, but the author explains why Humpty Dumpty is now portrayed as an egg; this was the way he was portrayed in Alice through the looking glass, and the image has stuck. The rival publication Hey diddle diddle suggests that Humpty Dumpty was originally a name given to an obese person.
Elsewhere in the book, the author has unearthed plenty of old rhymes and attempts to explain their origins. The text for each rhyme is given in full, which is just as well because I don't recognize a lot of them and even those that I do recognize contain verses that I don`t remember.Read more ›
Other reviewers will use well worn phrases like 'Treasure Chest' of knowledge, 'treasure trove' and the like.
In this case there are spot on.
Like quite a few people I believed I knew the origin of certain Nursery Rhymes like 'The Grand Old Duke of York' and 'Ring A Ring of Roses' and indeed the assistant at the book store quoted me the latter.
But others such as 'Jack and Jill' and 'Little Boy Blue' I did not.
If you are like me and love those books that educate and entertain then this is the book for you.
It is written in short chapters and is ideal to pick up from time to time and dip in.
You can read it from start to finish or just dip in.
This is a perfect book for the toilet.
I found it fascinating to read the possible origins of nursery rhymes- lets face it they have lasted 100s of years and are part of our heritage.
Praise should also be given for R Green's cover design.
Based on Hogarth's print 'Beer Street' and tinted with care this makes the book look really distintive and smart.
The eye is the first thing to attracted to a book and Green has really done the author, Albert Jack, a big service.
This is a light entertaining and Educational book and that is no mean achievement.
Albert Jack has written a really great book.
I would recommend it to anyone who is curious about the background of the very familiar nursery rhymes found in Mother Goose without really thinking too much about what they mean. After all did you know 'Humpty Dumpty was not an egg but a cannon defending a town during our Civil War?
The book arrived perfectly wrapped and in pristine condition
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great to help with an art project! Certainly helped me :D The facts behind the fiction are interesting whether they're true or notPublished 1 month ago by Emily
Love the stories behind the nursery rhymes, although some are less fact and more might be this or this or this.Published 6 months ago by James D
Very interesting style, easily laid out for quick reference, but also enjoyable as a good read.Published 6 months ago by tp2707
Some phrases were intersting, but we've left this book largely unread.Published 9 months ago by Peter Smith
Great fun for history buffs, poetry and rhyme lovers, and anyone who likes to know about trivia. Its not a huge selection of rhymes in here, but those that are, are very well... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Kristin