MR ALBERT M. PUDDING TURNS 100

‘EAT AWAY, CHEW AWAY, MUNCH AND BOLT AND GUZZLE,

NEVER LEAVE THE TABLE TILL YOU’RE FULL UP TO THE MUZZLE.’

by A. Pudding

 

What a genius and a national treasure  Norman Lindsay was…and is. He lives on through his work, and for generations of Australian children this centres on the characters he created in  his book The Magic Pudding. ‘Children would rather read  about about food and fighting than fairies,’  he famously told his friend Bertram Stevens. And it seems they do.

Norman lindsay and the Magic Pudding characters he created.

Norman and the characters he created. Oh my word, look at poor Albert’s eye!

Naturally the cover was designed by Norman;

 

Here is an extract from an editorial in the Evening News in December 1921, when Albert Pudding was only three years old. He had already crept into the hearts of the reading public;

One of my favourite books nowadays is Norman Lindsy’s ‘Magic Pudding’. Yes, I know it was written and illustrated for children; but the ‘grown-up’ who cannot enjoy a slice or two of the magic pudding has developed a hobnail liver or whatever it is that grown-ups get. I have been told that Lindsay regretted ever having written and published the  ‘Magic Pudding’. That he was ashamed of it. Bah! This book will be pored over and laughed at long after some of Lindsay’s more pretentious work has ‘gone west’ in the minds of men. 

Well of course since then Albert and his owners have been celebrated in countless ways, including appearing on a stamp.  Hmm a mere 33 cents…..must have been a while back! Would only send a letter 500 metres these days.

 

Magic Pudding stamp

I recently went along to the Library  of NSW’s  free exhibition to celebrate the Magic Pudding’s 100th birthday.   For details, click HERE Grumpy old Albert reluctantly welcomes and directs visitors upstairs from the Macquarie Street foyer.

 

Magic Pudding Exhibition t the Lirary of NSW

Up here if you really want to stare at me!

 

Magic Pudding Exhibition at the Library of NSW

OK, this is it Mate!

Thanks Albert.

What a delight it was to see Norman’s original drawings for the book;

 

Albert the Magic Pudding

Hunkered down in his basin.

Magic Puddin' thief!

The Puddin’ thief!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Albert the Magic Pudding

Oh the indignity! Stand up to them, Albert.

As with all good children’s books there were many misadventures for Albert and his owners, but everything was sorted out  in the end.  The would-be puddin’ thieves received their come-uppence….or in pudding speak,  their  ‘just desserts’.  The final drawing is a perfect representation  of Australian domestic contentment. I think this may be my favourite ever illustration in a children’s book.

Illustration from The Magic Pudding.

And they all lived happily ever after.

TAKE HOME SOME PUDDING

Don’t forget to call at the library’s gift shop for some delightful mementoes;

Magic Pudding erasers

Don’t rub out Albert!

Magic pudding gifts at the Library of NSW

I doubt I will ever use the teatowel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magic Pudding ruler.

The Magic Pudding Rules!

LONG LIVE CRABBY  OLD ALBERT!

 

 

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