A legacy story: Rose Fyleman – Vision Foundation

A legacy story: Rose Fyleman

You might remember Rose Fyleman from your childhood as the powerhouse author of your favourite fairy poems, but that’s not the only legacy she left behind.

When Rose passed away 65 years ago, she left royalties from her books to Vision Foundation. This powerful gift means Rose’s work has not only changed the lives of the people impacted by her writing, but continues to change the lives of blind and partially sighted people through our projects every day. To find out more about building your legacy through a gift in your Will, please get in touch.

To celebrate Rose’s legacy, we have shared a reading of her poem ‘A Voyage’ on YouTube, read by our Corporate Fundraising Executive, Emily.



About Rose


Rose Fyleman was born on 6 March 1877, the third child of her parents, John and Emilie Feilmann. At the outbreak of the First World War, the Feilmann family anglicized the spelling of their surname to Fyleman.

Black and white photo of Rose Fyleman. A side profile photo, showing Rose's short up-do and drop earrings.Rose was an incredible writer, best known for her beautiful poetry. At just 9 years old, Rose had one of her compositions published in a local newspaper, showcasing her talent for writing from an early age. Despite Rose’s ambition of becoming a teacher, she struggled at University College, Nottingham and changed paths, leaning into her talent as a singer and exploring the study of music. She studied singing in Paris, Berlin and finally at the Royal College of Music in London, where she graduated as an associate.

Not long after graduating, Rose returned to Nottingham where she taught singing and worked as an assistant at her sister’s school. At 40 years old, Rose’s poem, Fairies at the Bottom of Our Garden was published in Punch and she quickly became a favourite among the readers, sharing many more poems in the magazine. Not long after, Rose’s poetry was published across a range of books.

Fyleman’s first collection, Fairies and Chimneys (1918) was immensely popular. The demand saw it reprinted more than twenty times over the next decade. Thanks to this success, Rose was able to leave her role at the school and pursue writing full-time. The published collections of fairy verse included The Fairy Green (1919), The Fairy Flute (1921), and Fairies and Friends (1925).

A blue clothbound copy of "The Rose Fyleman Fairy Book" the text is embossed in gold with a gold embossed fairy on the coverAlongside her famous fairy poetry, Rose wrote plays and fiction for children, information books and even opera librettos! Her plays and collections of verse were published in throughout the 1920s and 1930s. In 1923, Rose founded the children’s magazine Merry-Go-Round, for which she was the editor for 2 years. Fyleman was also a skilled linguist who translated books from German, French and Italian, including the Bibi children’s stories of Danish writer, Karin Michaëlis.

After an illustrious publishing career, Rose Fyleman was hailed as one of the most successful children’s writers of her generation and she saw much of her early poetry become legendary. Rose passed away at a nursing home in St. Albans, Hertfordshire on 1 August 1957. Thanks to Rose’s legacy with Vision Foundation, her work is still changing lives, even 65 years after her passing.


Feeling inspired?


A gift in your Will – whatever the size – will enable Vision Foundation to fund crucial projects and services that transform the lives of people living with or facing sight loss. Your legacy will be to ensure blind and partially sighted people can maintain their independence and engage with their local community.

These special gifts are vital to ensuring we can continue to empower, inform and include blind and partially sighted people. In turn, we will create a fairer society for everyone.

If you have any queries about leaving a gift in your Will to Vision Foundation, Francesca from our fundraising team will be happy to talk you through the process. You can reach her on 020 7620 4994 and FRevell@visionfoundation.org.uk.