Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Rupert Bear The Adventure series. Fifty books published between 1948 and 1963

Rupert bear is one of the most enduring and well-loved children’s characters in British fiction. He was The Daily Express’s response to the highly successful children’s picture strip stories in other newspapers. Herbert Tourtel a senior executive at The Daily Express wrote the stories and his wife Mary provided the illustrations. Little Lost Bear ran for 36 days starting on the 8th November, 1920. The stories appeared in book form the following year and the first Rupert annual was published in 1936.










Herbert Tourtel died in 1931, but Mary continued to write and illustrate the stories herself until failing eyesight forced her to retire in 1935. Alfred Bestall was her natural successor. He had already published cartoons in other magazines as well as drawing the covers for Schoolgirl’s Own Annuals.










A new series of books began in 1948 and ran for 50 issues these were the Rupert Adventure Series with Rupert and Snuffy being the first. Numerous well known illustrators contributed artwork, including Enid Ash, Alex Cubie and Alfred Bestall. Later publications are the most difficult to find and are often the most expensive.










I was lucky enough to purchase a complete set, and although I no longer have them all I did manage to photograph them. I hope this proves useful for anyone wishing to collect the set.










Each unpaginated, slim booklet comes with colour illustrations in the same format as the annuals. All but three contain two Rupert stories some written specifically for the series and some reproduced from older annuals.










Information sourced from 'the new Rupert index' by W.O.G Lofts and D. J. Adley revised and updated by John Beck.

If you would like to find out more about Rupert visit the Followers of Rupert Bear

20 comments:

  1. Mornin, Very interesting as usual. Been studying the photos and trying to remember any that Bruv and I had as children. Alas to many years ago to be sure of any. They still make for good reading though, a neighbour loaned me some last year and I really enjoyed them. Thanks for the reminder................

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  2. I have never heard of Rupert Bear! He is absolutely adorable. I want him as a friend!

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  3. I like the earlier ones because they showed the name of the adventures in larger letters. Very cute post and you were lucky to own something so beautiful. Your pictures are nice too. Did you photograph some of the inside parts too? Looks like cataloging such cute stuff must be hard work!

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  4. Hi Barbara, I love these covers- especially Rupert and the Giant Castle. Thanks for sharing these- they are brilliant! ~ Jess

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  5. Oh, what an excellent post! Mum has some Rupert Bear annuals from her childhood. They're very well read ones though, I'm afraid. I loved having a read through them as a child myself... To the point of asking Dad for a Rupert Bear puppet as a kid (and I don't think any of my friends had heard of Rupert Bear by then!). I'll have to get the books off the shelf and see which ones Mum has.

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  6. I never realised there were so many books in the Rupert series - its lovely to see all the covers together like this! I've always thought Rupert was a special little bear - I made my son a Rupert the Bear cake for his 2nd birthday (he's almost 15 now) - I'll have to post a photo of it sometime!

    Whenever I see these books I always think of the video for Paul McCartney's song 'We all stand together' ... bom bom bom, la-la-la, bom, bom bom...

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  7. I have a very bad habit of assuming everyone grew up reading the same things as me but of course that isn’t the case. I’m sure Rupert would be very happy to be your friend!

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  8. Do you know Eve I didn't notice the size of the titles but now that you point it out its really obvious? How strange, maybe Rupert was so famous in the end that the publisher decided the titles were irrelevant.
    I have got some pictures of the inside parts, but I mostly concentrated on getting snaps of the covers. It's not really hard work, but it is time consuming.

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  9. Thanks Jess, it’s nice to be able to share them. Thanks for your comment.

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  10. It's nice your mums Rupert Bear annuals are well read it shows that they were well loved! They may not have as much monetary value as pristine copies, but I bet they have a great deal of sentimental value. I don’t think they made Rupert Bear Puppets when I was little, or if they did I didn’t see one. Thanks for calling in.

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  11. ‘Win or lose, sink or swim, one thing is certain well never give in, side by side, hand in hand, we all stand together’ I’m going to be singing that for the next week!

    I would love to see your Rupert the bear cake. I made lots of cakes for my son (he will be 40 next year!) but never a Rupert bear one. His favourite was the easiest of the lot – it wasn’t really a cake, just blocks of vanilla ice cream and chocolate finger biscuits made into the shape of a fort with tin soldiers and horses for decoration. The only problem was his birthday is in August, and it was a job to cut the ‘cake’ before it melted.

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  12. I have heard of Rupert- but never seen one of his books. How adorable! The covers are delightful and I love the colors. What a collection!

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  13. My husband, from England, grew up with these books. He still has one from his childhood. I love Rupert the Bear and used the name Rupert for the cat in my latest book. It was great to see all these covers.

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  14. It was a lovely collection, and I was lucky to be to get them. I sort of regret splitting it up but most people just want one or two to add to their collections, so I didn’t really have an option. At least, I had time to photograph them before they started to sell. Thanks very much for your comment.

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  15. Hello Darlene, I can’t wait to read your latest book (I have a copy on order). I was looking forward to reading about the book shop, but I’m even more excited now I know there is a cat called Rupert. Cats and books – what more could anyone ask for?

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  16. What a collection. My youngest sister's first book was a Rupert book. Somehow I kept thinking he was a rat, but he was really a bear. Love these covers here!

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  17. barbaraannefisher8 September 2012 at 14:04

    Claudine G;
    What a collection. My youngest sister's first book was a Rupert book. Somehow I kept thinking he was a rat, but he was really a bear. Love these covers here!

    Hi Claudine, I’m sorry your comment didn't post its happening a lot lately. Not sure if it’s a blogger problem or a Disqus one. Anyway, I’m glad you enjoyed seeing the covers. It was a lot of fun putting it all together. Rupert is most certainly a bear and a famous one at that.

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  18. Hi Barbara, what a fantastic collection.
    I'd like to nominate you for the One Lovely Blog Award, if that's ok. Please see:
    http://lowfellwritersplace.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/my-very-own-blog-award.html

    Best wishes
    Suzy

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  19. Hi Claudine, see my reply above. I don't know why posts were taking so long to show on the blog, but they look OK now. Yipee!

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  20. Hello Suzy, thank you so much! I'm sorry it took a while to respond, Blogger decided to put your comment in the spam folder!
    I'm so glad I found it. Barbara

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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