Always on the hunt for treasures among forgotten children’s books, I came across this one by chance when I was rather looking at glorious buildings and libraries stashed around the National Trust.  It seems The Magic Ink-Pot was born out of a mother writing story-letters to her daughter and then gathering them together and having them published and beautifully illustrated. 

Some of the drawings by Edmund Brock and by Margaret, daughter of the author Lady Londonderry, are featured on the National Trust website, as they are custodians of the Londonderry home, Mount Stewart.

Sorry to say I can’t report on the stories themselves, as the book is long out of print, there doesn’t appear to be a digital version anywhere, and the few copies for sale reflect their rarity such as to price them out of my reach. 

As it seems it was printed in 1928, I wonder if it will soon be in the public domain and then some enterprising, book-loving publisher can issue a facsimile version.   Please.   I will review it and nobody writes more beautiful reviews of children’s books than I do.  See our bestellar celebration of The Secret Garden and The Little White Horse.

As you know, I am mad about letters and write more of them than most people I know bar my brother.  Our niece is also proving a fine correspondent, and a second three-pager arrived from her last week.  So the idea of writing, sending, or receiving stories by letter is enchanting.  As it happens, some bright person has taken it up and will send story-letters to your children.   See The Magic Ink Pot. 

Photo credit: Pierre Bamin at unsplash

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