Piccallili by Edith Farmiole

Buying the grapes 
 A friendly bite
Carriage Folk 
 King of the castle
 A tragedy on the wall
 Jack selling his boats
 A sea picnic
Daylight robbery

I received this very unusual and scarce book for my birthday to add to my small collection of old children's books.  The book is called 'Piccallili' and is written and illustrated by Edith Farmiole.  The book is very old, published in 1900 by Grant Richards, London, and is a first edition.

Piccallili is full of charming lithograph illustrations by Edith Farmiole, with short stories to accompany each illustration.  All the stories and illustrations focus on children she observed playing in the streets or at the beach, and there is also quite a multi-cultural aspect to the stories and children she captured - with definite reference to Italian children and stories, possibly Spanish children, as well as quintessential old-fashioned English children. 

There appears to be very little information available about Edith Farmiole, but I did find a snippet of background information below from the BibliOdyssey blog;

Mrs. Farmiloe is the second daughter of Colonel the Hon. Arthur Parnell, a retired officer of the Royal Engineers and a second cousin of the late Irish leader, Charles Stewart Parnell. She has four sisters and four brothers, and a talent for humorous drawing runs in the family. Her husband, the Rev. William D. Farmiloe, is Vicar of St. Peter's in Soho. The parish, lying chiefly between Rupert Street and Great Windmill Street, is thronged with children of all nationalities, and Mrs. Farmiloe never tires of watching the youngsters play when school is over.    

I love the simple linear illustrations capturing the children at play, and the naive quality to the games.  No iphones, ipads, video consoles necessary to amuse these children, who are happy building sandcastles at the beach, scribbling on walls and playing with dolls and sailing boats!         


  1. Dear Lucy,

    You can learn more about Edith Farmiloe in issue 45 of "Studies in Illustration" published by the Imaginative Book Illustration Society, details at www.bookillustration.org There will be an exhibition of her work in Guildford from 15th September to 9th October 2012, details on the website.

  2. Thanks so much for letting me know about this Geoffrey - I'm off to check out the website now! Thanks :)