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George Edward Farrow (17 March 1862 –  c1920) born in Ipswich son of a cement manufacturer, educated in London and America, he lived for a time in Brook Green West Kensington. 

During his career Farrow wrote more than thirty books for children. He encouraged his young readers to write to him, answered their letters, and let their tastes and opinions guide his future works. He was a man of medium height and had a shaggy moustache (see picture). According to Scott-Sutherland (1996) he wore 'enormous Norfolk jackets bristling with pockets from which he would extract innumerable devices for the diversion of the young'. He had a fund of tricks, invented card games such as a set of 'snap' cards of some originality. Though he wrote adventure tales and poetry, Farrow was best known for his nonsense books, especially his Wallypug series, including:

  • The Wallypug of Why (1895)
  • Adventures in Wallypugland (1898)
  • The Wallypug in London (1898)
  • In Search of the Wallypug (1903)
  • The Wallypug in Fogland (1904)
  • The Wallypug in the Moon (1905)

— and others around thirty-four volumes in all

Surprisingly for a popular and prolific author, little is known of Farrow's life. Until recently, even the year of his birth was not known with certainty, it having been estimated at 1866, partly based on a reference in the Preface to an 1898 book:

One of my correspondents, aged eight, has embarrassed me very much indeed by suggesting that I should "wait for her till she grows up," as she should "so like to marry a gentleman who told stories." I hope she didn't mean that I did anything so disgraceful; and besides, as it would take nearly twenty-five years for her to catch up to me, she might change her mind in that time, and then what would become of me.
 
What did become of Farrow is also obscure. Author Noel Streatfeild has speculated,
I think he must have met a Snark who turned out to be a Boojum, for he certainly has "softly and suddenly vanished away."  

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The Wallypug of Why is his first book published in 1895
The book is an exercise in humorous nonsense, rich in wordplay and absurd situations, in the tradition of Lewis Carroll. A popular success, it inaugurated a series of Wallypug sequels. The novel's protagonist, known only as Girlie, finds a letter written home by her youngest brother (known only as Boy). The letter protrudes slightly from its envelope, and Girlie is able to read the following: I have found a goo Rather than extract the letter from its envelope and read it completely, Girlie pauses to wonder what a "goo" might be — which leads to a chain of fantastic events. She visits the land of Why, the source of all questions and answers, where the Wallypug is king. It is a topsy-turvy place: the Wallypug must address all the citizens as Your Majesty and do what people tell him to do. Many of the residents are talking animals with curious habits and quirks of personality — including a "socialistic cockatoo."

 

 
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This web site is an attempt to list the main G E Farrow books with pictures of the front covers and in many cases the title page or an illustration. The information is taken mainly from Colin Scott-Sutherland's article in Book and Magazine Collector Journal No. 146 May 1996. I also have to thank Abebooks.co. uk, Tom Hunt and Michiel, (who both sent me scans of some of the missing titles) for additional material.
 
There are a few titles which do not appear on the web site and are difficult to find, they include;
The King's Garden 1896
Lovely Man 1904
Essays in Bacon 1906
 
Click on the images to enlarge.
 
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