Did you know that in the first written version of Goldilocks And The Three Bears, by the British author and poet Robert Southey, published in 1837, the central character was not a little girl but an unpleasant and malicious old women - a vixen of sorts? The story at the time bore the title of The Three Bears. It was in 1849 that Southey's intrusive old women became an intrusive girl, who bore various names referring to her fair hair. The name Goldilocks was settled upon in the early Twentieth Century. It would seem that children favoured a pretty, naughty girl to an ugly, old hag and I do believe that book illustrators enjoy portraying Goldilocks who fares well in most versions of this story in contrast with the original vagrant woman.
We have several Goldilocks in our home; I delight in opening Angélique's mind to the subtle differences in interpretation between each rendition of a fairy tale. Let me be honest though; I have a soft spot for children's book illustrators and purchase such publications as much for my pleasure as for my children's. The work of French artist, Charlotte Gastaut, always inspires me. She works with contrasting colours and patterns and her attention to detail makes my heart sing. Her Goldilocks is my absolute favourite. There's a vintage style to her illustrations and, correct me if I am wrong, her choice of colours calls to mind traditional Russian children's tales. Birds, butterflies and flowers pepper her pages and her characters always seem to have large, black eyes like mirrors to their innocent souls.
I found myself drawn to this inquisitive child with her short, curly blond locks and was quite smitten with her red shoes! One day, by chance, I found a fabric, named Storybook Lane, which shared many of the same colours and details as Gastaut's illustrations of the forest in which Goldilocks wanders and I knew I had to make my version of this little girl, a doll, of course.
High-spirited, a lover of flowers, and a little naughty too. Please meet my Goldilocks who, though very different from Gastaut's, is clad in the same vibrant colours. I had so much fun creating this small girl picking flowers in the forest, straying further and further away from her cosy home. But she hasn't met the three bears yet. I think I might have to make another doll wearing different clothes and colours inspired by the bears' cottage.
Her Mary Jane shoes are fashioned from pure wool felt in cherry red and clinched with heart buttons. Her celadon-blue pinafore has a sprinkling of hand-embroidered daisies and simple flowers and her white lawn bloomers are trimmed with French pink lace.
Although I am very fond of her I have slipped her into my shop for a few days. So, if you would like to give a home to a courageous, sweet girl who is happiest when skipping amongst the trees and filling her basket with wild flowers, you may find her here.
Of course I would love to know whether you have a favourite fairy tale or Illustrator? I am very fond of The Snow Queen and The Twelve Dancing Princesses.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend and thank you so much for taking the time to read my words. I truly appreciate it.