Mother Goose…Believe it or not?

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HERE LYES Ye BODY OF

MARY GOOSE WIFE TO

ISAAC GOOSE; AGED 42

YEARS DEC’D OCTOBER

Ye 19th 1690

Here lyeth also susana

goose Ye [illegible] aged 15 mo

died August .[illegible]. 1687

According to some, namely a 1930s travel writer, the original and undeniable Mother Goose is buried at the Granary Burying Ground at Boston.  As the story goes, Mary Goose reportedly sang to her brood of children (16 altogether—six from her first marriage and her husband’s ten came together in a hers and his family).  The children loved the stories and rhymes that she told and sang to them.  Supposedly, her son-in-law, Thomas Fleet, who was a publisher in Boston on Pudding Lane gathered up her rhymes and ditties into a book and printed them.

Just one small problem.  No copy of the book has ever been found.  There is no evidence to support the claim.  In addition to that, nursery rhyme scholars (yes, there are such people) have found mention of “Mother Goose” in France years before Mary Goose was born.

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2 Responses to Mother Goose…Believe it or not?

  1. Mary Kim Schreck says:

    A “nursery rhyme scholar” who would have thought! I might have liked to have gone in that direction once….oh the lives we might have lived! I was thrilled when the tour guide on the “duck” pointed out Mother Goose’s house in Boston–Mary Goose–now she is quite a hero of mine along with all those dusty statesmen in old Boston graves and statuary!

  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 (usually wearing a bonnet ).

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