“The Spider and the Fly”


"'Will you walk into my parlor?' said the spider to the fly -- ''Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy.'" The fly demurs; the spider persists; at last she is lured "within his little parlor -- but she ne'er came out again."


Mary Howitt, the wife of author William Howitt, made a number of translations into English (including, apparently, some of the works of Hans Christian Andersen), but is hardly remembered today except for this one piece. _Granger's Index to Poetry_ cites ten poems of hers, but most are in only a single reference; 11 books are cited for this piece. I have this feeling that some of those other citations are instance where editors wanted to prove she did more than write "The Spider and the Fly." - RBW


  1. Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #837, pp. 316-317, "('Will you walkin into my parlor?' said the spider to the fly)"
  2. Roud #13006
  3. BI, BGMG837


Author: Mary (Botham) Howitt (1799-1888)
Earliest date: 1927 (Lawson, _The World's Best-Loved Poems_)
Keywords: bug trick lie death