Mother Goose

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{god, call, give}
{film, series, show}
{work, book, publish}
{son, year, death}
{language, word, form}
{album, band, music}
{water, park, boat}

The familiar figure of Mother Goose is an imaginary author of a collection of fairy tales and nursery rhymes[1] which are often published as Mother Goose Rhymes. As a character, she appears in one "nursery rhyme".[2] 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.

Contents

Identity

Mother Goose is the name given to an archetypal country woman. English readers were familiar with Mother Hubbard, already a stock figure when Edmund Spenser published his satire "Mother Hubbard's tale", 1590; with the superstitious advice on getting a husband or a wife of "Mother Bunch", who was credited with the fairy stories of Mme d'Aulnoy when they first appeared in English.[3] Mother Goose is credited with the Mother Goose stories and rhymes; yet no specific writer has ever been identified with such a name, of which the first known mention appears in an aside in a versified chronicle of weekly happenings that appeared regularly for several years, Jean Loret's La Muse Historique, collected in 1650.[4] His remark, ...comme un conte de la Mere Oye ("...like a Mother Goose story") shows that the term was already familiar.

In spite of evidence to the contrary,[5] there are doubtful reports, familiar to tourists to 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.[6] According to Eleanor Early, a Boston travel and history writer of the 1930s and '40s, the original Mother Goose was a real person who lived in Boston in the 1660s.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9]

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