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Russian Fairy Tales

Gillian Avery (Author)

The famous stage-designer Ivan Bilibin was a self-taught artist who was lucky enough to be offered the commission of a lifetime at the very start of his career. In 1899 the Department for the Production of State Documents asked this young Russian artist to illustrate a series of fairy tales, a task that took him four years to complete and inspired his finest work, reflecting his deep love for his country and his passionate interest in its national dress and wooden architecture. This, with ten other traditional tales, make up the collection for which all Bilibin's original artwork has been faithfully reproduced. Gillian Avery has provided a retelling of the texts which admirably complements Bilibin's distinctive illustration, itself rooted in the stylized forms of Russian folk and medieval art.

Pinocchio

Carlo Collodi (Author)

Everyone knows Pinocchio, the walking, talking wooden puppet carved from a table leg. Pinocchio, an endearing scamp, is always getting himself into trouble. But it isn't the sort of trouble most kids get into. Skiving off school, he is kidnapped by a puppeteer, robbed by a Cat and Fox, and persuaded to visit an earthly paradise where naughty children have perpetual fun - and turn into donkeys. Sold to a circus, then to a man who tries to drown him for his donkey-skin, he miraculously turns back into a puppet and goes in search of his 'father' (whom he must rescue from the belly of a giant dogfish ...).

Throughout these manic adventures he is haunted by the ghost of a Talking Cricket he has crushed to death for giving good advice, and watched over by his personal guardian fairy. All the while, Pinocchio dreams of becoming a real boy. Told with wit and humour, his story is also a moral fable about making the right choices, and what it is to be a loving human being.

Pinocchio is an astonishing work of fantasy which has been toned down and sentimentalized over the years, not least by the Walt Disney film. Everyman returns to a beautifully illustrated early translation of 1916 which captures the vivid inventiveness of Collodi's original.

Little Women And Good Wives

Louisa May Alcott (Author)

Written in six weeks, and at first thought by its editor to be 'dull', this story of an American family - four sisters and their mother living through the months while father is away in the Civil War - has a universal and enduring appeal. The reason is clear. Louisa Alcott based her story on her own experience of family life. 'Not a bit sensational', she wrote, 'but simple and true, for we really lived most of it. ' When published in 1868, the book was illustrated by May Alcott, Louisa's mother. GOOD WIVES, a sequel to LITTEL WOMEN, was published in 1869, taking up the story of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy three years on. In 1912 an English artist, Millicent Etheldreda Gray, with a reputation for closely-worked studies of domestic settings, was commissioned by Hodder and Stoughton to paint twelve watercolours for this most long-lasting of all family stories. A new feature film of LITTLE WOMEN will be released by Columbia Pictures in 1995 starring Winona Ryder and Susan Sarandon and directed by Gillian Armstrong.

The Three Musketeers

Alexandre Dumas (Author)

Dumas' most popular novel, The Three Musketeers, has long been a favourite with children, and its heroes are well-known from many a film and TV adaption. Set in France in the seventeenth century, it follows the fortunes of D'Artagnan, a poor Gascon gentleman, who arrives in Paris to join the Kings Musketeers and is befriended by three of them, Athos, Portos and Aramis, with whom he embarks upon a career of adventure and romance. Dumas is a brilliant story-teller: inexhaustively inventive, a master of dialogue and with a fine sense of drama and of historical period, he seizes the readers attention on the first page and holds it to the last. Everyman's Library Children's Classics reprints the first, and the best, English translation, by William Barrow.

English Fairy Tales

Joseph Jacobs (Author)

One of the great nineteenth-century folklorists, Joseph Jacobs collected stories from oral sources and made scholarly notes on their origin, but he deliberately recorded them in a plain and direct style which he thought suitable for children and which makes them 'supremely tellable'. First published in 1890, his famous collection includes all the well-known tales, such as JACK AND THE BEANSTALK and DICK WHITTINGTON, as well as British variants of stories common to many cultures. The illustrations by John Batten are taken from the first edition.

The Happy Prince And Other Tales

Oscar Wilde (Author)

The five original fairy tales included in this volume were first published by Davis Nutt in 1888. Although it is said that Wilde wrote them for his two young sons, the author himself claimed they were '. . . . not for children, but for childlike people from eighteen to eighty'. Since then the stories have been constantly reprinted and, despite the author's disclaimer, children have made the tales their own, a particular favourite being 'The Selfish Giant' - the highly moral story of the giant who banished children from his garden, so that spring never came. Charles Robinson, who produced the illustrations for a special edition first published in 1913, brought to the book a feeliong for its innate sadness that exactly fits the poetry of Wilde's text.

Jack The Giant Killer

Richard Doyle (Author)

The story of Jack, the intrepid little boy whose courage and ingenuity defeated a host of many-headed giants several times his size, is an English folk-tale that must have been told often in the Victorian nursery of the Doyle family. Growing up in the 1830s, they were all gifted children, especially Richard, whose natural talent for draughtsmanship was matched by imaginative invention and a passion for legend and the grotesque. In 1842, when only eighteen, he created for his own delight a picture-book version of Jack The Giant Killer, writing the text by hand, and carefully placing on each page a water-colour illustration within a pictorial border. The new everyman edition has typeset the text for greater legibility and redesigned the book for contemporary appeal, while retaining Doyle's vivid and characterful illustrations, enlarged and enhanced by modern colour printing techniques. The result is a book that will satisfy the modern child's appetite for bloodthirsty exploits of wonder and magic, yet is at the same time a true collector's item for anyone interested in the history of children's book illustration.

Mother Goose's Nursery Rhymes

Walter Jerrold (Author)

Every child's bookshelf should start with a collection of nursery rhymes so that these fantastic and nonsensical verses (some so old their meaning is long forgotten) are among the first magical words to sound in a child's ear. This collection of over two hundred rhymes was assembled in 1903 with the family in mind ('Tradition in the nursery has acted as a severe editor'). and each page is illustrated each verse decorated, with the imcomparable drawing of Charles Robinson.

The Jungle Book

Rudyard Kipling (Author)

Among the best loved of all classics for children are the tales of Mowgli, the boy who learned the law of the jungle as he grew up among a pack of wolves in India's Seeonee Hills. First published in 1894, the book imagines a child living and flourishing in a community of animals - an idea that perhaps had its origin in Kipling's unhappy childhood. 'His stories are not animal stories in the realistic sense; they are wonderful, beautiful fairy tales, ' wrote Ernest Thompson Seton, the great Canadian naturalist. Kurt Wiese's illustrations, commissoned by the American firm of Doubleday in 1932, have never appeared in Britain before. An artist with a particular interest in animals and an amazing visual memory, he remembered all he had observed on his travels in the Far East during the early 1900s, first as a salesman in China and then as a prisoner-of-war of the Japanese.

Little Lord Fauntleroy

Frances Hodgson Burnett (Author)

Originally published as a serial in the children's monthly magazine ST NICHOLAS, LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY was Frances Hodgson Burnett's first children's novel and on its publication in book form in October 1866 it became at once an astonishing success. Reprinted before publication (even though its first printing was 10, 000 copies), the book went on the bestseller lists alongside Tolstoy's WAR AND PEACE and Rider Haggards's KING SOLOMON'S MINES. Marghanita Laski described the novel as 'the best vesion on the Cinderella story in modern idiom that exists', and this tale of an arrogant English aristocrat reformed by his grandson, brought up in the classless society of New York, has retained its popularity over the years. Charles Brock, the PUNCH artist who epitomized the stereotype of the reserved, shy Englishman, illustrated the book with eight watercolours and forty-five pen-and-ink sketches for an edition first published by Warne in 1925.

The Secret Garden

Frances Hodgson Burnett (Author)

This story of two spoilt and lonely children, whose happiness is regained as they bring to life a neglected garden, has become the best-loved of all Mrs. Burnett's books, but it did not acquire universal popularity until long after its first publication in 1911 Although set in Yorkshire, it was inspired by the rose garden at Great Maytham Hall in Kent (which still flourishes) where its much-travelled author lived from 1898 to 1907. The story has many illustrators, bur none has surpassed Charles Robinson who first created in his pictures the romantic and mysterious atmosphere of Misselthwaite Manor and the locked, forgotten garden.

The Railway Children

E Nesbit (Author)

Although E. Nesbit regarded her poetry as her most important work, it is her children's books (written 'to keep the house going') that ensured her lasting fame and which are still enjoyed with such affection today. Her readers have their oen favourites, but the film version of THE RAILWAY CHILDREN, with Jenny Agutter as Roberta, the eldest daughter of the man unjustly sent to prison, and the Bernard Cribbins as the friendly railway porter, brought the book to a new generation of readers who love it for Roberta's courage and the satisfaction of the ending when her father is vindicated and restored to his family. The film is regularly shown on British Television.

Don Quixote Of The Mancha

Miguel De Cervantes (Author)

The story of the Spanish knight Don Quizote whose devotion to the tales of chivalry leads him into a series of bizarre adventures in the company of his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, blends fantasy, comedy and gripping narrative in a way that has appealed to children ever since it was first published. All the wisdom and humour of Cervantes' great seventeenth-century classic are to be found in Parry's very readable modern abridgement, enhanced by the delightful illustrations of Walter Crane, one of the greatest of all English children's book illustrators.

Cautionary Tales

Hilaire Belloc (Author)

These classic tales of Awful Warnings about the consequences of Bad Behaviour are among the best of comic verse ever written for children. 'Designed for the Admonition of children between the ages of eight and fourteen years', they were first published in 1907; though such eccentricity as Henry King's chewing string may no longer be a common misdemeanour, the humour is perennial and continues to entertained generations of children and their parents. This edition includes New Cautionary Tales, first published in 1930, and illustrated by Nicholas Bentley, who replaced as collaborator the poet's friend Lord Basil Blackwood (B. T. B. ) after his death in World War I.

Fables

Jean de La Fontaine (Author), Edward Marsh (Translator), R. de la Nézière (Illustrator)

Seventeenth-century Frenchman Jean de La Fontaine happily plundered Aesop and other classical writers as a source for his witty, elegant fables, as well as inventing a number of his own. Seeking to expose the weaknesses of human nature, he offered vivid perspectives on greed and flattery, envy and avarice, love and friendship, old age and death. The sixty fables collected here – from 'The Crow and the Fox' and 'The Cock and the Pearl' to 'The Grasshopper and the Ant' and 'The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse' – are illustrated with more than a hundred drawings by R. de La Nezière which which charmingly capture La Fontaine’s unforgettable cast of animal personalities.

Sherlock Homes

Arthur Conan Doyle (Author) , Sidney Paget (Illustrator)

‘Am dining at Goldini’s Restaurant, Gloucester Road, Kensington. Please come at once and join me there. Bring with you a jemmy, a dark lantern, a chisel, and a revolver – S. H.’

The game's afoot for the most famous amateur detective of all time in this collection of eight of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic tales.

The Speckled Band’, a Victorian melodrama in a country house, comes complete with murderous villain, murdered heroine, and a very unpleasant snake; ‘Silver Blaze’ tells of a missing race horse on Dartmoor which turns out not to be missing at all, and a murder that never was. In ‘The Redheaded League’ a pawnbroker answers an advertisement for a red-headed man and bizarrely finds himself copying out the Encyclopedia Britannica; in ‘The Bruce Partington Plans’ Holmes is skulking in the London Underground with a dead body when his patriotic services are called upon to find some stolen state secrets in the run-up to World War I.

Sidney Paget was the original illustrator and helped to form the image of Sherlock Holmes which exists to this day - in fact, it was he who created the famous deer-stalker!

Aladdin

W Heath Robinson (Author)

From the Eastern folk tales that make up the vast collection known as THE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS certain stories - of Aladdin, Sindbad and Ali Baba - have become everlasting favourites with children and a magical ingredient of Christmas pantomine. First introduced to Europe in the early eighteenth century by the French orientalist, Antione Galland, who translated and bowdlerized the stories to suit contemporary taste, this edition presents the fourteen best-known tales selected from an English text of 1821. The illustrations are reproduced from a larger collection in 1899. William Heath Robinson then at the start of his career, was commissioned with four others and his drawings (much the best) reveal a gentle, romantic charm that has been forgotten in the success of his later, purely comic work.

Robinson Crusoe

Daniel Defoe (Author)

Defoe's most celebrated story of Crusoe's shipwreck, his resourcefulness and ingenuity in his soliatry life on a desert island and his rescue of Man Friday has been abridged and retold many times since its publication (in two volumes) in 1719. It even appeared recently in graphic-novel form. In 1968 Kathleen Lines determined to make the original text more accessible to young readers by breaking Defoe's original, continuous narrative into chapters, slightly cutting Crusoe's long meditations, and compressing the relevant bits of THE FARTHER ADVENTURES into a neat Epilogue, so that readers learn what happened to Friday. The evocative engravings are reproduced from a mid-nineteenth-century edition published by Cassell, Petter & Gilpin.

Kidnapped

Robert Louis Stevenson (Author)

First published as a serial in YOUNG FOLKS between May and July 1886 and now reprinted in an Everyman edition on the centenary of Stevenson's death. KIDNAPPED is an adventure story that has become the model for any thriller of escape and suspense. Set in 1751, the flight of David Balfour and Alan Breck across the Highlands of Scotland is based on real events. Through he wrote the book to make money, while living as an invalid in Bournemouth. Stevenson was proud of it; he inscribed a presentation copy with the couplet. Here is the one sound page of all my writing. The one I'm proud of and that I delight in. Rowland Hilder is famous for his paintings of the English countryside but his work in book illustration covered a much wider canvas. His drawing for KIDNAPPED were first published in 1930 and have undesevedly, been long out of print.

King Arthur And His Knights Of The Round Table

Roger Lancelyn Green (Author)

The legends of King Arthur - the most revered hero of British Mythology - have been retold many times, but Roger Lancelyn Green's version has become a classic since its first publication in 1953. Using as his sources not only Malory's MORTE D'ARTHUR but other chronicles, poems and romances, he has made each adventure of Arthur's knights part of an overall pattern - the struggle of Arthur's kingdom, the realm of Logress, the model of chivalry and right, against the barbarism and evil that surrounded and at length engulfed it. So here are the stories of the sword in the stone, of the Green Knight, of the fatal love between Launcelot and Guinevere, of the quest for the Holy Grail, and of the final departing of Arthur to the Vale of Avalon. The illustrations are taken from an edition of MORTE D'ARTHUR published in 1893 with which Aubrey Beardsley first made a name for himself at the age of twenty.

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