Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Darby O'Gill

Happy New Year!

John R. Neill provided a lovely frontispiece illustration for Reilly & Britton's 1915 edition of Darby O'Gill and the Good People. This book was first published in 1903 by McClure, Phillips and Co., and a later edition was published by Reilly & Lee. This Reilly & Britton printing seems to be a bit unusual, as I could currently find no listings for other copies.

Neill's frontispiece is the only illustration in the book, which is unfortunate. This collection of Irish tales would have been right up his alley for inspired imagery. The book was the basis for Walt Disney's 1959 movie Darby O'Gill and the Little People.

The book was written in 1903 by Hermione Templeton, who remarried in 1905 and became Hermione Templeton Kavanagh.


Bill Campbell said...

This comment was left at the next blog entry by mistake - to prevent confusion, I'm reposting it here!

Jim Meadows said...

Thanks for posting about this book. I had come across it on another website listing various Reilly & Britton/Lee publications, and was intriqued that John Neill illustrated a non-Oz book that became a Disney movie.

"Darby O'Gill and the Little People" is the only movie (that I know of) in which Sean Connery sings. He apparently plays the normal-sized man in Neill's frontispiece.

thelauderdale said...

The man in the frontispiece is Darby. As someone who has seen the movie, Sean Connery plays the role of Michael, the incoming caretaker and romantic interest for Darby's daughter Katie. I don't know if Katie and Michael appear in the book: it is available on the Internet Archive and I gave it a quick glance through just now, but I think their subplot was created for the movie.