- Books, Literature, and Writing
Milly Molly Mandy Books
Joyce Brisley books Featuring Milly Molly Mandy
Does anyone remember reading Milly Molly Mandy Books when they were kids? Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s I remember reading Milly Molly Mandy books. This is the cover I remember most. This book is the first collection of Milly Molly Mandy stories and it was published in 1928 by Joyce Brisley.
But the stories themselves were actually first published in the Christian Science Monitor (a newspaper) starting around 1925. This I never knew until I started researching these books for this lens.
Image Source - Milly Molly Mandy
Milly Molly Mandy
Milly Molly Mandy's real and full name is Millicent Margaret Amanda. Her surname is never mentioned. Since her full name is quite long, she has 3 nicknames - Milly for Millicent, Molly for Margaret and Mandy for Amanda. These nicknames have been shortened even further to MMM.
Milly Molly Mandy also has short hair and short legs and wears a pink or red candy striped dress. The family style of clothes, and going by MMM's bloomers, indicates the era was probably the 1920s - when these stories were first written. Bloomers are an old fashioned type of underwear.
Image source - From the Book - Milly Molly Mandy Again
Milly Molly Mandy Books from Amazon
The Village Map where Milly Molly Mandy Lives
This is a pretty typical map layout for an English village. Although back in the 1970s when I was reading these stories, I had no idea where this village was.
Milly Molly Mandy (or MMM as she was known) lives in the White Cottage with the Thatched Roof at the upper left corner.
The dotted line across the middle of the map (between MMM's home at top left and the school at bottom right) has a note that says - Shortcut to school (only used in dry weather).
Image Source - Idyllic Life of Milly Molly Mandy
A White Cottage with a Thatched Roof
This is so you have SOME idea of what a White cottage with a Thatched Roof looks like.
I have ancestors who were thatchers, so this is something which I am interested in knowing more about.
Image source - A cottage in Essex with a thatched roof
Essex county is next door to Sussex County where the author Joyce Brisley lived.
Milly Molly Mandy's Family
MMM lived in the white cottage with the thatched roof with a LOT of adults. As seen in this illustration (by the author Joyce Brisley), MMM lived with her parents, one set of grandparents and also an aunt and uncle.
MMM's grandparents are on the left, her mother is at the gate waving goodbye, her father is in the garden foreground on the right, her aunt is at the window of the house and her uncle is also working in the garden in the background on the right .
Talk about large extended families but back in the early 1900s this was perfectly normal. It was considered quite normal for the grandparents to live with and be supported by the son and daughter-in-law and of course all the grandchildren. In return the grandparents could do some babysitting if the parents ever wanted to take a little time off (not that they ever did back then).
More Milly Molly Mandy Books
Milly Molly Mandy - The simple things in life
These stories about Milly Molly Mandy show us what life was like our parents were children. Indeed when these stories were written there was NO TV, no video games and only the occasional outing to the theatre or the movies. Most families had a radio and plenty of books.
So if I had been raised in the 1920s, I would have read books, listened to the radio, played out doors in the village green, gone picking blackberries and in general spent a lot of my time outdoors.
There would have been NO TV, no video games and no - Oh wait - I did spent most of my time outdoors in the 1970s. Yes, my family had a TV but it was an old black and white one. I spent most of my time reading books, riding my bike and spending time outdoors with my sisters. I also remember playing softball and tag in the streets in the summer, staying out until the sun went down.
Milly Molly Mandy and her friends have lots of activities to keep them occupied and out of mischief. They can do things like - fishing in the stream, sledging in the snow, picking blackberries, cooking potatoes (no safety guards and no anxious mothers hovering around either), running errands for the family, picking mushrooms (yuck I hate mushrooms), eating snacks in the treehouse, writing letters to a penfriend (Does MMM know how to write already?), going camping and getting up to mischief at the village fair (fete). .
I do hate the fact that the simple things in life have been lost. If only the TV had NEVER been invented.
Image source - The Simple things in Life
The Author - Joyce Brisley
Joyce Lankester Brisley published a total of 6 collections of stories about Milly Molly Mandy.
The first collection was published in 1928, but some of these stories were originally published in the Christian Science Monitor (a newspaper) as early as 1925.
There are no twists, no mysteries and no real plot to these stories. They are simply a collection of short stories about the idyllic life of a 5 year old girl who always wears a pink or red candy striped dress and is described as having short black hair and short legs and who lives with her parents, her grandparents and her aunt and uncle in the Nice White Cottage with the Thatched Roof. .
Amazon says that Joyce Brisley was born in Bexhill-on-Sea in Sussex County, England in 1896. She started writing stories and illustrating them as a child. Her first story was published when she was 13 years old. The family later moved to London. Joyce eventually enrolled in and studied at the Lambeth Art school for 2 years.
At the age of 20, Joyce and her two sisters had pictures hung at the Royal Academy - a great honour indeed. But painting was not Joyce's forte - she preferred to draw illustrations.
Joyce's early stories of Milly Molly Mandy were printed in the Christian Science Monitor starting from 1925. These stories were later published in a book in 1928. More story collections followed in 1929 and 1932 and then again in later years. Joyce Brisley died in 1978.
Image Source - Milly Molly Mandy
There are no pictures, portraits or images of Joyce Lankaster Brisley. Since she is most well known for creating the character of Milly Molly Mandy, I am using that to represent her.
The MMM Books
The first stories were published in a collection in 1928. This was followed by more collections in 1929, 1932, 1948, 1955 and 1967. Below is the original list of the books - taken from Wikipedia.
Milly-Molly-Mandy Stories (1928)
More of Milly-Molly-Mandy (1929)
Further Doings of Milly-Molly-Mandy (1932)
Milly-Molly-Mandy Again (1948)
Milly-Molly-Mandy & Co (1955)
Milly-Molly-Mandy and Billy Blunt (1967)
However I also see more recent collections with titles such as MMM and Friends, MMM and Family, MMM's Schooldays and The Adventures of MMM. I can only assume that the stories are broken up from their original collections and regathered into new collections by topics - those dealing with friends, with family, with school etc etc. Since I have not seen any of these new books, I can only hope that the words and illustrations have not been altered..
These are some of the newer and more recent titles - from LibraryThing
The Adventures of Milly-Molly-Mandy by Joyce Lankester Brisley Omnibus (1992)
The Best of Milly-Molly-Mandy by Joyce Lankester Brisley Collection
The Milly-Molly-Mandy Collection by Joyce Lankester Brisley Collection
The Milly-Molly-Mandy Omnibus: 1st by Joyce Lankester Brisley Omnibus
The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook by Joyce Lankester Brisley Selection (2001)
Milly-Molly-Mandy's Family by Joyce Lankester Brisley Collection (2005)
Milly-Molly-Mandy's Friends by Joyce Lankester Brisley Collection (2005)
Milly-Molly-Mandy's Schooldays by Joyce Lankester Brisley Collection (2005)
The Best of Milly-Molly-Mandy By Joyce Lankester Brisley Omnibus (2005)
More Milly-Molly-Mandy by Joyce Lankester Brisley Omnibus
Image source - Milly Molly Mandy Again
Milly Molly Mandy Does Errands
A reading of the story Milly Molly Mandy Does Errands. The accent is hilarious and yes in the book MMM really does say Muvver and Farver