''The Man in the Moon''
Illustration by Edmund Dulac
The subject of this illustration by Dulac appears to be the mythical "Man in the Moon", possibly in the form of 'Aikendrum'
from Scottish legend.
Aikendrum is a character mentioned in a number of Scottish folk songs - some with very obvious references to the Moon,
while others are more tangential. Early references to the character are noted in James Hogg's Jacobite Relics of Scotland (1819)
and in the tale "The Brownie of Blednoch". It is possible, however, that the earliest example - based upon oral tradition - is
recorded in the Percy Society's Early English Poetry, Ballads and Popular Literature of the Middle Ages (1841). The fanciful lyrics
of Aikendrum place him in the moon, with a hat made of cream cheese, a coat of roast beef (buttoned by panny loaves) and
breeches made of haggis bags. The character is also linked with a European tradition of a man being banished to the moon
for a crime - it is thought that tradition arises from an Old Testament passage (Numbers XV: 32-36) wherein God sentenced
a man to death by stoning for gathering sticks on the Sabbath.
While Dulac's Aikendrum is in his nightgown, rather than his customary cream cheese hat, roast beef coat and haggis bag
trousers, he is nonetheless, depicted in a suitably whimsical manner appearing in a cloudy sky - as is described in "The Brownie
of Blednoch" - and curiously, is held in the moon by bars (as may be in keeping with the old European tradition). In addition,
somewhat fittingly, he is reaching for a kite emblazoned with an image of the sun.
Dulac's "The Man in the Moon" was published in 1927 to accompany advertising for a collection of Mother Goose rhymes - in
the advertising, the image was associated with the rhyme, 'Sing song, merry go round' as follows:
Sing song! merry go round,
Here we go up to the moon, oh.
Little Johnnie a penny has found,
And so we'll sing a tune, oh!
What shall I buy?
Johnnie did cry,
With the penny I've found
So bright and round?
What shall you buy?
A kit that will fly
Up to the moon, all through the sky!
But if, when it gets there,
It should stay in the air.
Or the man in the moon
Should open the door,
And take it in with his long, long paw, -
We should sing to another tune, oh!
Single Greeting Card (with matching Envelope)
Code: ED MM SGC
Detail (for reference)
Reproduction on 12x18" sheet
Code: ED MM 12x18
Our Greeting Cards
When presented on Greeting Cards, this image is prepared as a tipped-on plate - in hommage to the hand-crafted
approach typical of prestige illustrated publications produced in the early decades of the 20th Century. Each card is
hand-finished, with the image presented on Ivory card stock with an accompanying envelope. On the rear of each
card we also present some information about Edmund Dulac and this wonderful illustration. We have left the interior
of the cards blank so that you may write your own personal message.
Our large format reproductions
Each of our large format reproductions are prepared with archival quality materials and processes to ensure many years
of enjoyment. In addition, our reproductions are accompanied by explanatory material relating to Edmund Dulac
and this wonderful illustration.
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