The figure of Mother Goose is the imaginary author of a collection of "fairy tales and "nursery rhymes often published as Old Mother Goose's Rhymes, as illustrated by "Arthur Rackham in 1913. As a character, she appears in one nursery rhyme. A "Christmas "pantomime called Mother Goose is often performed in the United Kingdom. The so-called "Mother Goose" rhymes and stories have formed the basis for many classic British pantomimes. Mother Goose is generally depicted in literature and book illustration as an elderly country woman in a tall hat and shawl, a costume identical to the "peasant costume worn in Wales in the early 20th century, but is sometimes depicted as a "goose (usually wearing a "bonnet).
Mother Goose is the name given to an archetypal country woman.["citation needed] She is credited with the Mother Goose stories and rhymes popularized in the 17th century in English-language literature, although no specific writer has ever been identified with such a name.["citation needed]
17th-century English readers would have been familiar with "Mother Hubbard, a stock figure when "Edmund Spenser published the satire "Mother Hubberd's Tale in 1590, as well as with similar fairy tales told by "Mother Bunch" (the pseudonym of "Madame d'Aulnoy) in the 1690s. An early mention appears in an aside in a versified French chronicle of weekly events, "Jean Loret's La Muse Historique, collected in 1650. His remark, comme un conte de la Mère Oye ("like a Mother Goose story") shows that the term was readily understood. Additional 17th-century Mother Goose/Mere l'Oye references appear in French literature in the 1620s and 1630s.
In "The Real Personages of Mother Goose" (1930), Katherine Elwes-Thomas submits that the image and name "Mother Goose" or "Mère l'Oye" may be based upon ancient legends of the wife of King "Robert II of France, known as "Berthe la fileuse" (""Bertha the Spinner") or Berthe pied d'oie ("Goose-Foot Bertha" ), who, according to Elwes-Thomas, is often described in French legends as spinning incredible tales that enraptured children.["citation needed]
Despite evidence to the contrary, there are reports, familiar to tourists in "Boston, "Massachusetts, that the original Mother Goose was a Bostonian wife of an Isaac Goose, either named Elizabeth Foster Goose (1665–1758) or Mary Goose (d. 1690, age 42) who is interred at the "Granary Burying Ground on Tremont Street. According to Eleanor Early, a Boston travel and history writer of the 1930s, and 1940s, the original Mother Goose was a real person who lived in Boston in the 1660s. She was reportedly the second wife of Isaac Goose (alternatively named Vergoose or Vertigoose), who brought to the marriage six children of her own to add to Isaac's ten. After Isaac died, Elizabeth went to live with her eldest daughter, who had married Thomas Fleet, a publisher who lived on Pudding Lane (now Devonshire Street). According to Early, "Mother Goose" used to sing songs and ditties to her grandchildren all day, and other children swarmed to hear them. Finally, her son-in-law gathered her jingles together and printed them.
"Charles Perrault, the initiator of the literary fairy tale genre, published a collection of fairy tales in 1695 called "Histoires ou contes du temps passés, avec des moralités under the name of his son, which became better known under its subtitle of Contes de ma mère l'Oye or Tales of My Mother Goose. Perrault's publication marks the first authenticated starting-point for Mother Goose stories.
In 1729, an English translation appeared of Perrault's collection, "Robert Samber's Histories or Tales of Past Times, Told by Mother Goose, which introduced "Sleeping Beauty, "Little Red Riding Hood, "Puss in Boots, "Cinderella, and other Perrault tales to English-speaking audiences. These were "fairy tales.
"John Newbery was once believed to have published a compilation of English nursery rhymes entitled Mother Goose's Melody, or, Sonnets for the cradle some time in the 1760s, but the first edition was probably published in 1780 or 1781 by Thomas Carnan, one of Newbery's successors. This edition was registered with the "Stationers' Company in 1780. However, no copy has been traced, and the earliest surviving edition is dated 1784. The name "Mother Goose" has been associated in the English-speaking world with children's poetry ever since.
In music, "Maurice Ravel wrote "Ma mère l'oye, a suite for the "piano, which he then orchestrated for a "ballet. There is also a song called ""Mother Goose" by "progressive rock band "Jethro Tull from their 1971 "Aqualung album. The song seems to be unrelated to the figure of Mother Goose, since she is only the first of many surreal images that the narrator encounters and describes through the lyrics.
In addition to being the purported author of nursery rhymes, Mother Goose is herself the title character of one such rhyme:
Old Mother Goose,
When she wanted to wander,
Would ride through the air
On a very fine gander.
Jack's mother came in,
And caught the goose soon,
And mounting its back,
Flew up to the moon.
Ryoji Tsurumi has shown that the transition from a shadowy generic figure to one with such concrete actions was effected at a "pantomime Harlequin and Mother Goose: or, The Golden Egg in 1806–07. The pantomime was first performed at the "Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on 29 December, and many times repeated in the new year. Harlequin and Mother Goose: or, The Golden Egg, starred the famous clown "Joseph Grimaldi and was written by "Thomas Dibdin, who invented the actions suitable for a Mother Goose brought to the stage and recreated her as a "witch-figure, Tsurumi notes. In the first scene, the stage directions show her raising a storm and, for the very first time, flying a gander. The magical Mother Goose transformed the old miser into "Pantaloon of the "commedia dell'arte and the British pantomime tradition, and the young lovers Colin and Colinette into "Harlequin and "Columbine. She was played "en travesti by Samuel Simmons – a pantomime tradition that survives today – and she also raises a ghost in a macabre churchyard scene.
There have been numerous adaptations of Mother Goose with the classic nursery rhymes and adaptations with a distinct motif including:
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