The Fairy Alphabet

ByFanny Y. Cory


Fabulous fairies teach the alphabet in this unique collection of paintings and rhymes by Fanny Y. Cory, a famous illustrator of children's books in the early 20th century. Drawing from the fairy lore of many cultures, Cory created these adorable fairies to amuse herself and her children, but the little sprites were too free-spirited to stay with just one family. Now they and their animal friends delight children everywhere.


Format: Hardcover with dust jacket
Size: 9 x 11.5 inches
ISBN: 9781606390276
Author: Fanny Y. Cory
Pages: 32

Fanny Young Cory was born in Waukegan, Illinois, in 1877, the youngest of four surviving children. Her family lived in Helena, Montana, for most of her adolescence. At 18 she attended the Metropolitan School of Fine Arts in New York City. By the turn of the century, she was one of the best-known magazine and book illustrators in the country, and her characteristic vertical signature appeared in many illustrations for the magazines Life, Harper’s Bazaar, and the Saturday Evening Post, among others. She also illustrated many books including Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1902) by Lewis Carroll and several books by Frank L. Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz. In 1903 Cory returned to Montana, and in 1904, after what a newspaper called a “delightful romance,” Cory married Fred Cooney and moved onto his ranch near Helena. Up to that time Cory’s personal life had been bittersweet, from the death of her mother at age ten to the death of her beloved sister in Fanny’s arms. Despite these and other setbacks, Cory persevered and became the mother of three children and led them through merry childhoods. In the 1920s as her children approached college age, Cory began a new career to help pay for college educations. She produced a nationally syndicated single panel daily cartoon about the foibles of five-year-old Sonny and Baby Sister. She later began another comic about Little Miss Muffet. About 1926, when her youngest left home, Cory began painting the Fairy Alphabet as a way to relax from the daily comic routine. The artist considered these watercolors her finest work. They preserve the charm of early-20th century illustrations and the puckish humor of a warm and talented artist. Cory published several books of her own, and in 1951 she was named “Mother of the Year” for the State of Montana. Soon afterwards she moved to Camano Island, Washington, where she continued drawing her comic strips for King Features Syndicate. She retired in 1956 at the age of 79, after a 36-year run of “Sonnysayings” and a 20-year run of “Little Miss Muffet.” In 1972 Cory died at the age of 94.

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