Celebrating the hedgehog: National Hedgehog Awareness Week

Black and white photograph of a hedgehog looking for food (John Tarlton, P TAR PH3/2/8/11/55)

It has been brought to our attention that this is National Hedgehog Awareness Week – and as we’re attached to the Museum of English Rural Life, it’s not really something we can ignore (and in any case, who would want to?)! Of course one of the earliest known bookplates is a representation of a hedgehog (ca. 1450, Johannes Knabensberg), so hedgehogs hold some weight here in rare books…

Although the MERL collections turn up a handful of lovely hedgehog photos (the hedgehog above is taken from the collections of countryside photographer John Tarlton), our natural history and children’s collections also contain their fair share of the spiny creatures, and we thought we’d share a couple with you. Enjoy!

Quipic the Hedgehog
Above: Quipic the Hedgehog (by Lida, illustrated by ‘Rojan’) is one of our favourites. Originally published in Paris in 1937 as Quipic le  hérisson, the book is part of Père Castor’s wild animal series, which includes counterparts Mischief the Squirrel, Scaf the Seal and Frou the hare.
Mr and Mrs Hedgehog, by Patricia Ardley
Above: The Children’s Collection also turns up the tales of Mr Horace Hedgehog and Mr and Mrs Hedgehog, written by Patricia Ardley and illustrated by EC Ardley. Horace is a young bachelor hedgehog who marries and plans to lead a lifes of leisure – but encounters adventures along the way.

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