I know lots of you enjoying seeing images from my vintage book collection and so this week I'm going to share the delightful Cassell's Annual for Boys and Girls. It is often difficult to date these old annuals, but I had no problem with this one because the publisher kindly printed MCMXIV on the title page. If you struggle with Roman Numerals as I sometimes do there is a handy Roman numeral converter here or here
Tip – if you are trying to put a date to an undated book, one way is to visit COPAC – a searchable catalogue which provides free access to the merged online catalogues of many major research libraries. You can often verify bibliographic information this way, but a simpler way is to take a good look at the book itself. In the case of the Cassell's Annual the publisher offered 100 prizes in a Grand Painting Competition which closed on the 20th January 1915 (or for Colonial readers the 2nd March 1915). So it makes sense to assume it was published in 1914 in plenty of time for Christmas.
I've been spoilt for choice when it comes to images to share. The title page states there are nearly two hundred colour pictures. I hope you enjoy the ones I’ve chosen.
The Adventures of Edward the Red Teddy Bear - The Aeroplane Wish
with illustrations by Frank Hart.
Edward the Red Teddy Bear frowned and said, " If we'd lived about a hundred million years ago we might have met a fairy or something that would have given us wishes. Nowadays, we can't meet fairies because there don't happen to by any, but I don't see why we shouldn't have the wishes. Suppose that I and you and the Dutch Doll decide in our minds that we will take it in turns to have a wish, and that the two of us who aren't wishing will promise very faithfully to help the one who is wishing until his wish is quite finished!"
Another Frank Hart illustration for a story called The Suffragette Wish.
So they followed Nancy the Dutch Doll out into the crowded streets. When she found herself quite in the street, Nancy wondered very much in her mind what kind of things suffragettes did. And the only thing she could think of was to bite a policeman!
Mabel Lucie Attwell illustrates a poem by Margaret O. Carpenter.
I sealed the letter with a heart and gave it kisses ten.
But oh, I let it lie about before I posted it, and so
the fairies stole it right away - I cried all night, I know.
Next day, with Podge, my darling dog, I walked a most tremendous way
Until I found the Toadstool Town, where naughty fairies play.
They laughed, and stared, and winked, and sneered, and made such horrid rude grimaces.
But I could tell they were the thieves by looking at their faces.
I said, "You've got my letter there! Now do be good and give it up."
But they played pranks which frightened me, and angered Podge the pup.
He made a rush, did Podge, and growled, and barked so fierce a "Bow-wow-wow!"
They fled, and left my note behind - I'll run and post it now!
Arthur Rackham provides numerous illustrations for several stories, including this one
(The Two Great Pachas).
Many years ago there lived a famous monarch of Arabia named Ali Pacha, who ruled over a vast empire in the East. He had won so many battles and was so fearless and wise a man that he was known as "The Great Pacha."
The following illustrations are by Stuart-Barker - I haven't come across the illustrator before, but I think the images are enchanting.
Abraham Huggs's Book of Drugs by Olaf Baker, artist not credited.
Belinda screamed with terror illustration by Florence Hardy
Then the Teddy Bear sized Belinda and set her on his toboggan. Just as he did so there was a dreadful growling, and twenty huge bears rushed out of the wood. The Teddy Bear started the toboggan down the steep slope of the hill. The Big Bears rushed after it, growling furiously. Belinda could hear them close behind, and screamed with terror. But the toboggan went faster and faster...
The Clock Illustration and poem by E. Dorothy Rees.
Bed-time it must be.
Take a light, say "good-night,"
And come upstairs with me!
Is that the time? Goodness I must away but I just have time to show you a picture of the book spine - irresistible don't you think?
Thanks for your visit. I hope you enjoyed a peek inside this beautiful book.