I’ve drawn Humpty Dumpty before (previous post) but I couldn’t not cover this rhyme so it was a great excuse for another sketch – it has to be the best known and one of the most loved with the character appearing in other children’s books.
The historians believe that this probably started out as a riddle but like many others it’s origins are a bit of mystery. The first publication of the rhyme is thought to date back to 1797 with the first audio recordings in 1870. The Oxford Dictionary claims that Humpty Dumpty was a reference to a beverage of brandy boiled with ale but in the eighteen century the term also was used for a short, clumsy person.
Theories range from the rhyme being about Richard III whose character was assassinated by Shakespeare, forever depicted as a cruel hunchback; others claim it to be a metaphor for the downfall of Cardinal Wolsey and others that it refers to the English Civil war.