Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Hilda Boswell - my first love

I have to reprimand myself for writing this while I have to finish my review, but I can't help it. I was somehow reminded again of how beautiful the works of Hilda Boswell were, and I have to say, it was first love for me, at the first sight. I came across Boswell's artworks when I was about... uh, 10, at the most? And I immediately fell in love with the rosy-cheek characters.

Hitherto, Boswell's Treasury of Children's Stories is still my favourite children book - beating up Cinderella and Snow White (well, she did illustrated an edition of Snow White...). Boswell did not write her stories; she picked them from Charles Dickens' David Copperfield, C.J. Lewis' Chronicle of Narnia and Mary de Morgan's 'Through the Fire'. Boswell hoped that the readers would not forget the stories easily, and you know what?

She was right. Treasury of Children's Stories is my utmost beloved children book. Ever. Period.

It is a great dismay that Boswell's books are out of print now (can you imagine such a hideous crime?!), and thus I enlist myself in the fans of Hilda Boswell who begs the re-print of her books. Collins? Oxford? Anyone? Gramedia, even, because my first copy (of which I lost now...) was printed and published by Gramedia Indonesia, in Indonesian language, naturally.

Pic 1: Lucy in Narnia
Pic 2: Cover to 'Treasury of Children's Stories'


TheMM said...

hi, icha, i feel the same as you..i'm from indonesia too and i loveee this book. I have it when i'm still a child. i have what remains from the book :(, 2 or 3 stories are missing, the rest is safe with me, although, all the papers loose from its cover..
And yes, i'm searching for the book too.. you know..just in case :))

orcalion said...

This is book is our favourite too. When we lost ours, I searched in many bookstores, but there wasn't any.

I just found some used copies in Amazon.com at various prices.

Please let me know if you are having any success in getting this book re-published. I would really like to know.

Icha said...

Hi Orcalion (and hi TheMM - so sorry for the more-than-one-year delay), yeah, unfortunately I haven't heard of Hilda Boswell's book being reprinted. They are true treasures and they must be reprinted! It is a must!

I had my first English copy (thus my second Boswell copy after my Indonesian) from Ebay Australia. There are several bookstores worldwide that sell Boswell's books; I hope you two can get them!

sjafrida said...

halo icha...i'm from indonesia ....i've been looking for this book for many years..i've bought that book about 30years ago...and i've lost it too...now..i look for that book...hei..i've written to gramedia and asked about the copy...but there are none..i am so sad and desperate to get that book...

orcalion said...

I managed to find some used ones on the internet. Here are the links:




There were some on e-bay Australia too, but the website was being uncooperative with me when I was trying to create an account.

I ordered one from Amazon.com yesterday, and I will let you know when I receive it.

Icha said...

Syafrida and MM, if you have internationally acknowledged credit cards like Citibank Visa or Mastercard (American Express as well), you can order directly from Amazon.com... or even Ebay.com or ebay.com.au sometimes.

Orcalion, you are from ID as well, I found out? Ebay Oz doesn't accept some unverified countries like ID, cos we have lots of hackers around here :-D

What I can do for you guys is to buy the books from ebay and send them to your addresses in ID. But it will be expensive... about IDR 200-250,000 at least... for the book and shipping. No additional cost from my side... I just wanna help fellow Boswell fans...

Anyway, just email me at tara_parvati@yahoo.com if you're interested. I often go back and forth ID-OZ, so it's easier for me to have access on secondhand books.

orcalion said...

Hi Icha

I'm sorry, I failed to notice your latest comment in my mailbox..

Yes, I am from Indonesia. Thank you for your offer to find me the book in Australia.

I managed to contact the seller in Amazon.com and asked if they would ship to Indonesia and they said they would. I initially filled the order form with a friend's address in Australia (just in case there was a mistake, the book wouldn't be lost).. and the seller agreed to manually alter the shipping address for me.

It worked well. I received my book last week. The book was in very good condition, and the shipment took only about 2 weeks from the time I ordered. The book plus shipping was about Rp 160,000 (I risked choosing the cheapest one). So, I've been a very happy girl since last week!

I am now ordering another one for my sister, along with a few other books. The sellers I'm contacting are from UK. It looks like that the shipping cost from UK to Indonesia is cheaper than from US.

Thank you again.. :-)

Icha said...

Hi Orcalion,

Since we're both from Indonesia, I will switch to Indonesian :-D

Asik lah yaaw, Hilda Boswell-nya udah datang. Saya cuman nyesal, coba yang edisi Indonesia punya saya dulu masih ada... pasti lebih asik punya dua, Indonesian dan Inggris... Tapi ya masih mending kita masih bisa dapat yang English edition. Kita beruntung lho... harganya juga ga mahal2 banget kan...

Saya pernah order dari UK, dan mereka tiba relatif lebih cepat dibanding dari US. Buku2nya juga bagus2 kok...

orcalion said...

Seneeenngg banget! Kualitas bukunya OK dan jauh lebih murah daripada yang aku pikir harus aku keluarkan.. cepet nyampenya juga.. :-)

Lagi mikir2, kalo aku scan aslinya untuk di post dan terjemahin satu-persatu di blog (dengan appropriate citing), bermasalah sama publishers gak ya?

Soalnya, cerita2 di buku ini, bener-benar full of values worth sharing.. :-)

Icha said...

Sebenarnya bagusnya adalah bikin petisi ke Gramedia untuk cetak ulang bhs Indonesia. Yang jelas buku ini udah out of print, jadi mungkin gapapa diterjemahin...

Tapi saya kok tetep pengin punya edisi Indonesia yang resmi gitu... Kalo Orcalion mau organise petisi untuk Gramedia, gue ttd pertama deh!

I was thinking of sleeping with Hilda's Treasury tonight, u made me think it was a good idea after all.

orcalion said...

Bikin application di Facebook kali ya? Biar banyak yang baca dan mudah2an Gramedia (orang-orangnya) ada yang cepat lihat..

I'll see what I can come up with and let you know.. ;-)

orcalion said...

I have created a group in Facebook, named, 'Hilda Boswell' for the purpose of gathering people who would like to see the 'Treasury of Children's Stories' in Indonesian reprinted.

Please search for it and join in (Icha's guests are all invited).. :-)


Icha said...

Thanks a lot, Orcalion! I will surely join the group!

Icha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
orcalion said...

I'm really not getting much better at using FB ;-P .. still getting lost a lot..

Ini link-nya.. http://www.facebook.com/groups/edit.php?edit_members&gid=94034425986#/group.php?gid=94034425986

Kayaknya sih group Hilda Boswell baru satu itu aja.. creator-nya Indri Hutapea.

Kalo gak sukses, boleh dicoba dari FB-ku aja, Cha.. Aku udah 'add as friend'..

Icha said...

^_^ am also very bad at the FB department...Anyway, I've joined the group, and didn't realise that we have so many Boswell fans in Indonesia!

Thanks Orca for contacting me!

Roesdan said...

Hello Icha. I also a big fans of Hilda Boswell as well. I got it as a brithday present from my auntie. i loved all the tales and illustrations of this book.

i lost that book many years ago and never rest trying to found it again. And now I am glad that many people love Mrs Boswell's work as well.

i wish I can find 1 copy and do tell its stories to my children. I am sure they'll love it:)

Icha said...

Hi mbak Roesdan, I gather that you're from ID as well? There are some sites (Amazon or Ebay) that sells second hand Hilda Boswell books. Amazon marketplace does not ship to ID, but Ebay does (but it's hard to pay for it if you don't have Paypal). Orcalion managed to lobby an Amazon seller to send it to ID, and she got hers a few months ago. Perchance you can do the same?

Lily said...

Hi Icha, I'm also From Indonesia, I've been searching this book few years, could you please tell me how to buy this book again? i hope have 2 versions Indonesia n english ... coz 1st time i read this book was indonesia version, so still hoping can read it again.... pleaseeee tell me

Icha said...

Hi Lily,

You might be able to buy second hand Hilda Boswell from Amazon.com or Ebay, as long as you have credit card. Ebay might be harder cos they usually use Paypal.


Those are some Ebay sellers that have HB's Treasury of Children's Stories on sale. Unfortunately, unlike Beatrix Potter's books, Boswell's books are not reprinted anymore.

Anonymous said...

Hi Icha,
I'm so happy to have found some other Hilda Boswell fans out there.
She is, in my opinion, one of the very greatest children's illustrators. Her books fuelled my imagination when I was a child and thankfully I too have managed to find them for my own children on Amazon. Her fanastic imagination, beautiful renderings of nature and animals and the exquisite attention to detail in her costumes and interiors make her work really unique. Leyla D, London

Icha said...

Hi Leyla,

You're from London! How lucky. It must be easier for you to obtain second hand books by Boswell? I wish they would reprint her books. If they can reprint Beatrix Potter's illustrations, why not Hilda Boswell's?