Margret Rey

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Margret Rey
The Reys.jpg
Margret Rey with her husband, H. A. Rey
BornMargarete Elisabethe Waldstein
(1906-05-16)May 16, 1906
Hamburg, Germany
DiedDecember 21, 1996(1996-12-21) (aged 90)
Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
OccupationWriter, illustrator
Education Bauhaus
GenreChildren's literature
Notable works Curious George
Years active19391966
Spouse H. A. Rey (19351977; his death)

Margret Elizabeth Rey (May 16, 1906 – December 21, 1996) was a German-born American writer and illustrator, known best for the Curious George series of children's picture books that she and her husband H. A. Rey created from 1939 to 1966.

Curious George protagonist of a series of popular childrens books by the same name

Curious George is the protagonist of a series of popular children's books by the same name, written by H. A. Rey and Margret Rey with illustrations by Alan J. Shalleck. The books feature a chimp named George, who is brought from his home in Africa by "The Man with The Yellow Hat" as his best friend to live with him in a giant city.

Childrens literature stories, books, and poems that are enjoyed by and targeted primarily towards children

Children's literature or juvenile literature includes stories, books, magazines, and poems that are enjoyed by children. Modern children's literature is classified in two different ways: genre or the intended age of the reader.

H. A. Rey childrens illustrator and writer, German Jewish American

Hans Augusto Rey was a German-born American illustrator and author, known best for the Curious George series of children's picture books that he and his wife Margret Rey created from 1939 to 1966.



Margarete Elisabethe Waldstein was born on May 16, 1906 in Hamburg, Germany, the daughter of Gertrude (Rosenfeld) and Felix Waldstein. [1] [2] [3] Her father was a member of the Reichstag. She studied art at Bauhaus in Dessau, Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, and the University of Munich between 1926 and 1928 and afterward worked in advertising [4] . In 1935 she left Germany for Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil to escape Nazism (Nazi Germany) – and to meet Hans Reyersbach, a salesman and another German Jew from Hamburg, who had been a family friend. [1] They married in 1935 and moved to Paris, France, in 1936. [5]

Hamburg City in Germany

Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany with a population of over 1.8 million.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Reichstag (German Empire) parliament of Germany from 1871 to 1918

The Reichstag was the Parliament of Germany from 1871 to 1918. Legislation was shared between the Reichstag and the Bundesrat, which was the Imperial Council of the reigning princes of the German States.

While in Paris, Hans's animal drawings came to the attention of French publisher, who commissioned him to write a children's book. The result, Cecily G. and the Nine Monkeys , is little remembered today, but one of its characters, an adorably impish monkey named Curious George, was such a success that the couple considered writing a book just about him. Their work was interrupted with the outbreak of World War II. As Jews, the Reys decided to flee to Paris before the Nazis seized the city. Hans built two bicycles, and they fled Paris just a few hours before it fell. Among the meager possessions they brought with them was the illustrated manuscript of Curious George.

<i>Cecily G. and the Nine Monkeys</i> book by H. A. Rey

Cecily G. and the Nine Monkeys is a 1939 children's short story written and illustrated by German-American author H. A. Rey. It is the first story to feature Rey's now-famous character, Curious George. When it was first published in France, Cecily's original name was Rafi; Raffy when it was first published in the United Kingdom. But when it appeared in the United States, the character was renamed Cecily.

Monkey animal of the "higher primates" (the simians), but excluding the apes

Monkey is a common name that may refer to groups or species of mammals, in part, the simians of infraorder Simiiformes. The term is applied descriptively to groups of primates, such as families of new world monkeys and old world monkeys. Many monkey species are tree-dwelling (arboreal), although there are species that live primarily on the ground, such as baboons. Most species are also active during the day (diurnal). Monkeys are generally considered to be intelligent, especially the old world monkeys of Catarrhini.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

The Reys' odyssey brought them to the France-Spain border to enter into Spain, where they bought train tickets to Lisbon, in Portugal. From there they returned to Brazil, where they had met five years earlier, but this time they continued to New York City, New York, United States Of America. The books were published by Houghton Mifflin in 1941, though certain changes had to be introduced because of the technology of the time. Hans and Margret originally planned to use watercolors to illustrate the books, but since they were responsible for the color separation, he changed these to the cartoon-like images that continue to feature in each of the books. (A collector's edition with the original watercolors was released in 1998.) [6]

France–Spain border international border

The France–Spain border was formally defined in 1659. It separates the two countries from Hendaye and Irun in the west, running through the Pyrenees to Cerbère and Portbou on the Mediterranean Sea.

Spain Kingdom in Southwest Europe

Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a country mostly located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.

Portugal Republic in Southwestern Europe

Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country located mostly on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe, being bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments.

Curious George was an instant success, and the Reys were commissioned to write more adventures of the mischievous monkey and his friend, the Man with the Yellow Hat. They wrote seven stories in all, with Hans mainly doing the illustrations and Margret working mostly on the stories, though they both admitted to sharing the work and cooperating fully in every stage of development. At first, however, Margret's name was left off the cover, ostensibly because there was a glut of women already writing children's fiction. In later editions, this was corrected, and Margret now receives full credit for her role in developing the stories.

Margret and her husband moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1963, in a house close to Harvard Square. Following her husband's death in 1977, Margret continued writing, and in 1979 she became a Professor of Creative Writing at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. From 1980 she collaborated with Alan Shalleck on a series of short films featuring Curious George and on more than two dozen additional books.

Cambridge, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

Cambridge is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and part of the Boston metropolitan area.

Harvard Square area near the center of Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Harvard Square is a triangular plaza at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue, Brattle Street, and John F. Kennedy Street, near the center of Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. The term "Harvard Square" is also used to delineate the business district and Harvard University surrounding that intersection, which is the historic center of Cambridge. Adjacent to Harvard Yard, the historic heart of Harvard University, the Square functions as a commercial center for Harvard students, as well as residents of western Cambridge and the inner western and northern suburbs of Boston. These residents use the Harvard station, a major MBTA Red Line subway and bus transportation hub.

Brandeis University private research university in Waltham, Massachusetts

Brandeis University is an American private research university in Waltham, Massachusetts, 9 miles (14 km) west of Boston. Founded in 1948 as a non-sectarian, coeducational institution sponsored by the Jewish community, Brandeis was established on the site of the former Middlesex University. The university is named after Louis Brandeis, the first Jewish Justice of the U.S Supreme Court.

In 1989 Margret Rey established the Curious George Foundation to help creative children and prevent cruelty to animals. In 1996, she made major donations to the Boston Public Library and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She was also a long-time supporter of the Longy School of Music.

Boston Public Library library in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.

The Boston Public Library is a municipal public library system in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, founded in 1848. The Boston Public Library is also the Library for the Commonwealth of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; all adult residents of the commonwealth are entitled to borrowing and research privileges, and the library receives state funding. The Boston Public Library contains approximately 24 million volumes, and electronic resources, making it the third-largest public library in the United States behind only the Library of Congress and the New York Public Library. In fiscal year 2014, the library held over 10,000 programs, all free to the public, and lent 3.7 million materials.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Hospital in Massachusetts, United States

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston, Massachusetts is a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. It was formed out of the 1996 merger of Beth Israel Hospital and New England Deaconess Hospital. Among independent teaching hospitals, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center consistently ranks in the top three recipients of biomedical research funding from the National Institutes of Health. Research funding totals nearly $200 million annually. BIDMC researchers run more than 850 active sponsored projects and 200 clinical trials. The Harvard-Thorndike General Clinical Research Center, the oldest clinical research laboratory in the United States, has been located on this site since 1973.

Rey died of a heart attack disease on December 21, 1996 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Collected papers

The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, holds more than 300 boxes of Rey papers dated 1973 to 2002. [1]

Dr. Lena Y. de Grummond, a professor in the field of library science at The University of Southern Mississippi, contacted the Reys in 1966 about USM's new children's literature collection. H. A. and Margret donated a pair of sketches at the time. When Margret Rey died in 1996, her will designated that the entire literary estate of the Reys would be donated to the de Grummond Collection.

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 "H. A. Rey & Margret Rey Papers" Archived 2013-07-05 at the Wayback Machine . de Grummond Children's Literature Collection. University of Southern Mississippi. June 2001. Retrieved 2013-06-24. With Biographical Sketch.
  2. "Monkey Business in a World of Evil". Rothstein, Edward. The New York Times. March 26, 2010.
  4. "H.A. & Margret Rey Papers". The University of Southern Mississippi, University Library. 2019-05-15.
  5. Meister, Carol (2001). H. A. Rey. p. 12. ISBN   1-57765-481-1. OCLC   45413500.
  6. H.A. Rey (1998). The Original Curious George (Collector's ed.). HMH Books. ISBN   978-0-395-92272-9. OCLC   39972712.