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Last Week I learned that I have a lot to learn!!

October 29, 2012

Last week I learned that writing a blog and subsequent posts is a time consuming and frustrating business … and mostly rewarding.

For instance sometime ago I wrote a piece for our Special Collection’s Featured item about Edward Topsell and referred to Dr Thomas Muffett (or Moufet), an entomologist who  died in 1604. It is said that Thomas Muffett had a daughter Patience whose encounter with a spider was immortalised in the rhyme Little Miss Muffett. But as this was not published until 1805 in Songs for the nursery and the connection cannot be proved.
It could however have been a coincidence and the Muffett simply rhymed with tuffet and the poem was about Mary Queen of Scots (1543–1587), who was said to have been frightened by the religious reformer John Knox.

I liked the former story, and wondered  if Patience had followed in her father’s  footsteps and become famous? Sadly it appears that her only claim to fame was this event.
However I did look at images of Miss Muffett in our children’s collection and noted that artists and illustrators had difficulty deciding what a tuffet was or is.  Or in my images whether she was  sitting on it at all.
So this lead to more research and some answers; but still some what ifs?

This is my preferred image 

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