Where The Rainbow Ended

Reading & Writing

I think you’ll like this story. It’s also true.

In ‘Paperboy’ (just reissued with an updated cover mentioning my award-win) I spoke about childhood books. There was one particular book that intrigued me. It was the fantasy ‘Where The Rainbow Ends’, a book considered ideal for every young child’s bedroom. One illustration showed a girl being yanked into a shadowy forest by homunculi with razor-sharp claws, her pale arms striped with crimson scars. It was captioned ‘Rosamund Is Dragged Into The Black Wood By Imps’ (later she gets tied to a tree and left for the hyenas). The book was by Clifford Mills. It started with four children, a lion cub and a genie, and ended with a battle between St George and the dragon.

In an effort to reacquaint myself with part of my childhood, I tried to find the particular edition I had owned at the age of seven, but although other editions turned up over the years, I never found it.

Then one day I advertised for it on the internet, and a lady in Sevenoaks said she had a copy, and would sell it to me. When it arrived, I opened it – and there on the first page was my name, transcribed when I was seven.

My mother had had friends in Sevenoaks, and my brother used to visit a playmate down there. Somehow the original book had been taken there and left all these years, to await rediscovery.

Here’s the book, and my signature.

6 comments on “Where The Rainbow Ended”

  1. Andy says:

    Nice story. Always good to get a book back. Looks like “Where the Rainbow Ends” was also put on at the Garrick- http://www.flickr.com/photos/42399206@N03/4332196970/

  2. Steve says:

    Spooky synchronicity, n’est ce-pas?

  3. Helen Martin says:

    According to the Wikipedia article, two of the actors in 1911 were Noel Coward and Jack Hawkins, but the warning is there that the item gives no sources. Mills did it as a Christmas production in 1911 (Wikipedia again) but there is no mention of the book. I wonder which came first. I like the union flag design in the lion cub’s neck ribbon.
    Your printing is very neat, Chris, and I like it that you made so small an intrusion onto the text. I had a rather unusual lunchbox in elementary school, a box my father later filled with nails and other things which created massive rust. I was fortunate enough to find one exactly the same at an antique fair, so I could take it to the school where I was teaching.
    Is the article correct where it says there is unacceptable love of empire in the story? (What is the word I want? It’s not empiricism, empiricist, empirical – imperial?)

  4. Steve says:

    Imperialism, I believe.

  5. Helen Martin says:

    Thank you, Steve. My brain obviously turned to mush there.

  6. GumshoeDunn says:

    Didn’t she realize that the book had once belonged to a world famous author?! You’re lucky she didn’t put it up for auction.
    I love this story, another amazing example of life twisting its gears and surprising everyone.

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