Homepage 'de Luikerwaal' Pussy's Road to Ruin,
or Do as You are Bid

Some popular magic lantern sets based on the Children's book from Madame de Chatelain (c. 1845).

Pussy's Road to Ruin, or Do as You are Bid, translated freely from the German by Madame de Chatelain, 2nd Edition. This is undated but was probably produced around 1845. 27 pages. Illustrated with 12 hand-coloured, full-page engravings. Original printed boards with hand-coloured engravings to both boards. Oblong: 11.5 x 17.5 cm. The publishers are given as William Englemann of Leipzig, Joseph, Myers and Co., 144 Leadenhall Street, and William Tegg and Co., 85, Queen Street, Cheapside.
This book was adapted as some extremely popular sets of magic lantern slides. The illustrations are rather sanguinary but no doubt also highly entertaining. The author Clara (de Pontigny) de Chatelain (1807-1876) was a French woman residing in England, who wrote and translated many children's books under her own name and pseudonyms, and who was married to the Chevalier de Chatelain, a journalist well known for translating the works of Shakespeare into French.

Pussy is well brought up by her mother, dame Tabby, and is taught to spin and catch mice for her master. She is accosted by a rascal called master Tom who leads Pussy into crime by teaching her to kill birds. First they kill a jackdaw and chickens, and then he cajoles her into stealing a mutton chop and sausages and killing a canary. Her master catches her and as a punishment imprisons her in a cellar.
Moral: A good education is no guarantee of having your children grow up as righteous creatures. They only have to meet the wrong friends and everything can turn to a sticky end.

Twelve slides made by York & Son, England. The square slides measure 8.2 x 8.2 cm.
1 Puss going to be taught to work 2 Pussy learning to spin 3 Pussy taught to catch a mouse
4 Master Tom courting Puss 5 A walk on the tiles 6 Tom teaching mischief to Puss
7 Tom and Puss killing the fowls 8 Puss stealing the chops 9 Puss stealing sausages
10 Puss killing the canary 11 Puss caught by her master 12 Puss in prison

Six slides from a set of twelve, mounted in a wooden frame. Name and address of the manufacturer are pressed into the wood of each frame: CARPENTER & WESTLEY , REGENT ST LONDON. The frames measure 17 x 9 cm.
Here is the story of Pussy depicted on three oblong frames each containing four round glasses, so twelve round glasses totally. These slides are probably made by Carpenter & Westley.
Twelve slides made by Theobald & Co, England.

The square slides measure 8.2 x 8.2 cm.


1 Pussy being led by her Mamma to work 2 Pussy learning to Spin 3 Pussy learning to catch Mice
4 Pussy accosted by Master Tom 5 The midnight ramble on the Tiles 6 Tom teaching Pussy to be destructive
7 Tom and Pussy killing the fowls 8 Pussy stealing her master's Mutton Chop 9 Pussy stealing the Sausages
10 Pussy killing the Canary 11 Pussy caught by her Master 12 Pussy in prison

The slides above were also published mounted in a wooden frame c. 7 x 3.75 inches.

Twelve slides made by Newton & Co, England (Cheap Series). The square slides measure 8.2 x 8.2 cm.

Hand painted on glass. The caption is hand-written on the bottom right hand side of each slide.

The Newton set above was also produced mounted in a wooden frame. Size: 6.5 x 4 inches.

It's remarkable that all sets of the different manufacturers follow exact the same story line and depict all the same scenes on each slide.

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Last update: 02-06-2021.
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