Monday, 8 April 2013

Raymond Sheppard and Round the Year Stories: Spring




Maribel Edwin appears to have written many books on nature in fictional form for children from the 1920s to the 1960s. Brian and the Wood-Folk. [A nature story for children.] appears to be published by Dent & Sons, 1924 and the last I can find is Bilberry Summer illustrated by Victor Ambrus, published by Collins, in 1965.

The Bookman (December 1933, pp. 232) reviewed her Wild Life Stories and commented: "Maribel Edwin is the pen-name of the daughter of the late Sir Arthur Thomson, and something of his mantle has certainly fallen upon her." and in the flyleaf for the 1950 compilation of all four seasons it states: "Mrs Maribel Edwin, daughter of the late Professor Arthur Thomson of Aberdeen"

If I have the right one - and I think I do - the Who's Who tells us:

THOMSON, Sir (John) Arthur Kt, 1930; MA, Hon. LLD (Edinburgh, McGill, California, and Aberdeen) Born East Lothian, 8 July 1861; m 1889; three s one d ; died 12 Feb. 1933 lately Regius Prof. of Natural History, Aberdeen University, 1899–1930 
‘THOMSON, Sir (John) Arthur’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007 [, accessed 7 April 2013]

and the Times tells us:
He was happily married and had three sons, including Dr. A. L. Thomson, assistant secretary to the Medical Research Council, and Dr. D. L. Thomson, associate professor of biochemistry at McGill, and one daughter
"Sir J. Arthur Thomson." Times [London, England] 13 Feb. 1933: 8. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 7 Apr. 2013.

Poor Maribel, we don't even know her name! But other than that I can't find much about her. I have put together a crude listing of her writings below for anyone wanting to research her further

What's Sheppard's connection? He drew four colour plates and thirteen  black and white drawings

Round the Year: Spring, Frontispiece: lapwing flies to nest.

Round the Year: Spring,p36b Swan flies from nest.

Round the Year: Spring,p100b Coot with chicks following.

Round the Year: Spring,p 84b Fox pins down partridge.

Round the Year: Spring,p15 Boys lifts lapwing

Round the Year: Spring,p21 Hedgehog and saucer

Round the Year: Spring,p29 Willow-Warbler feeding chicks in nest

Round the Year: Spring,p35 Mute swan and three cygnets

Round the Year: Spring,p 43 Fieldmice and babies

Round the Year: Spring,p51Woodcock with chick between legs

Round the Year: Spring,p57 Mole eats worm

Round the Year: Spring,p65 Cuckoo fed by a meadow-pipit.

Round the Year: Spring,p73 Puffin gazes down hole

Round the Year: Spring,p79 Spotted flycatcher catches flying insects

Round the Year: Spring,p87 Partridge and chicks

Round the Year: Spring,p95 Black-headed gulls and terns

Round the Year: Spring,p103 Coot chick spots fish jumping

Lastly to demonstrate the inferior quality of printing in the 1950s we have below two digital photos of the proofs sent to Raymond Sheppard - used with permission of Christine Sheppard - and the colour on them is superb compared to the scans I have made above.

TITLE of writings by Maribel EdwinDATE
Brian and the Wood-Folk. [A nature story for children.].London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1924.
Rovers & Stay-at-homes, etc. [Tales of animals.].London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1927.
In England--Now!" The countryside week by week.illustrated by F I Noble.London: Sheldon Press [1930]
The Valiant Jester.London: Ward, Lock & Co., 1930.
Windfall Harvest.London: Ward, Lock & Co., 1931.
Wild folk at home.London: 1932.
Wild Life Stories, etc.T. Nelson & Sons: London, [1933]
Martin's annual - The chase / Maribel Edwin (ed. Joan Beauchamp)New York : Martin Lawrence, [1935]
What can we do now?" A younger week-end book, ("Out and about in the country; a nature calendar, by Maribel Edwin": p. 123-153; "Round the year on the seashore, by L. R. Brightwell": p. 175-195.)London: T. Nelson and sons. [1935]
Atmosphere for Gloria.London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1935.
Return to youth.London, 1937.
Wild life stories.London: 1938.
Round the year stories. The spring bookLondon: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1938.
Countryside Tales.London, [1938]
Round the year stories. The summer bookLondon: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1938.
Sound alibi.New York, Hillman-Curl, 1938.
Round the year stories. The winter bookLondon: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1939.
Round the year stories. The autumn bookLondon: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1939.
The Little Ass in Argosy (UK) [v 5 # 8], September 1944
Snow Scene in Argosy (UK) [v 6 # 2], February 1945
Nature's year.New York, Longmans, Green [1947]
The Goad by M. Edwin, pp. 5-12 in Argosy December 1950
This way to GreenacresLongmans-Green, 1950.
Round the year stories (all 4 seasons in one volume)
Nelson, 1950.
Curlew JonNelson, 1953.
The Zigzag Path ... Illustrated by Kiddell-Monroe.Pp. vi. 225. Thomas Nelson & Sons: Edinburgh, 1955.
The Double Halfpenny ... Illustrated by Robert Hodgson.Pp. vii. 211. Thomas Nelson & Sons: London, 1956.
The bridge under the waterNelson, 1957.
The Snowbound Bus ... Illustrations by Margery Gill.London : Thomas Nelson & Sons, [1960]
The Hidden House. Illustrated by Prue Theobalds.London : Thomas Nelson & Sons, [1963]
Bilberry Summer ... Illustrated by Victor Ambrus.London : Collins, 1965.


  1. Yes ....That's her real name... MARIBEL EDWIN
    she was Maribel Thomson. daughter of ....Sir John Arthur Thomson
    (1861 – 1933) a famous Scottish Naturalist
    and Professor of Natural History at the University of Aberdeen,from 1899-1930
    her brother Sir Arthur Landsborough Thomson (8 October 1890 – 9 June 1977)
    was a Scottish ornithologist

    Ps. (she married Charles Frank Edwin)
    Joyce From Scotland .

  2. Thanks ever so much for writing Joyce. I've added your helpful information here,