A cat-headed goblin

Posted on 2nd December 2015 by simonbeattie


Published in 1844, this is a delightful illustrated tale of a mischievous goblin—‘in form as a small and dwarfish Man, but his Head was as that of a Cat’—who one night leads a miller, worse the wear for drink, through a stream, a thicket, and a bog, before leaving him breathless, tattered, and muddy come the morning.  ‘Now, ye who list, a Moral read and learn, / That through this World ye do walk Soberly, / Lest Goblin Sprites your Steps with Malice turn, / From Paths of Peace to Paths disorderly …’ (p. 9).  The miller was easily charmed by the goblin, as was I by the book itself:

Gulston 1

Gulston 3

Gulston 4

Gulston 2

Gulston 5

Gulston 6

All the lithograph illustrations, as well as the tale, are the work of Josepha Heath Gulston, from Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, who went on to publish a handful of novels in the 1850s under the name ‘Talbot Gwynne’.

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