Collection of first editions of 15 almanacks illustrated by Golden Age trailblazer Kate Greenaway, one volume signed by her.
Very good plus to fine, one volume in very good plus dust jacket.
Collection of 15 Illustrated Almanacks
"In a time when children's picture books exist in large numbers and great variety, we need reminders of the art that has contributed to the present wealth." – Viguers
Greenaway was one of the most successful female artists of the 19th century, standing on equal artistic ground with Caldecott and Crane. This achievement came after years of study at the National Art Training School and the Heatherley School of Fine Art, where she agitated for more equal artistic training for women, who were forbidden from nude figure drawing classes at the time. After the 1878 publication of UNDER THE WINDOW, "Greenaway Vogue" (Schuster) launched on both sides of the Atlantic
Greenaway's style, featuring rosy-cheeked children and young adults, captures a romantic and cheerful view of a nostalgic Victorian childhood; her method of weaving the text and image into a cohesive thematic whole revolutionized the aesthetic of the children's book. Greenaway's artistry was immensely marketable, and adorned products from scarves to crockery and gift books; her first illustrated almanack was published in 1883, and sold over 90,000 copies worldwide (Viguers). Versions with new illustrations were published every year until 1897, with the exception of 1896.
This collection represents the majority of these almanacks, several in variant bindings. Producing a range of versions from functional to deluxe was part of the marketing genius of Greenaway, her printer Edmund Evans, and her publisher: they knew that with a few outward changes, they could make the works appeal to audiences of all budgets. These little books illuminate how illustrations for children were consumed in the late 19th century and are a testament to Greenaway's enduring popularity.
Included in this collection are volumes 1883-85, two variations of 1886, 1887-1893, two variations of 1894, and 1895. The 1895 volume features her signature in Lewis Carroll-esque tiny fairy writing.
Read more: Schuster, Printed Kate Greenaway; Viguers, The Kate Greenaway Treasury, 13-14.
London: George Routledge and Sons, 1883-1895. 4'' x 2.75'' (1883); 5.25'' x 3.75'' (1884); 4'' x 3.25'' (1885); 4'' x 3'' (1886); 3'' x 4'' (1887); 4'' x 3'' (1888, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95). Nine volumes in original cloth-backed color pictorial boards. Two volumes in original imitation gilt goatskin; two volumes in original gilt cloth. 1884 volume in original color pictorial wrappers. 1886 volume in original hand-painted wrappers with ribbon stitching. 1891 volume in original text-printed dust jacket. All volumes illustrated in color throughout.  to  pages each. Housed in single custom clamshell box. 1895 volume signed by Greenaway to half-title page. Six volumes with bookplate of F. H. Goodyear, 19th-century rail and lumber magnate. Dust jacket on 1891 volume with some edgewear and.5 inch loss to spine ends; two other small spots of loss. Binding of 1891 volume unusually sharp and bright, else overall light soiling and edgewear to volumes and occasional tiny spots of foxing. Sound with vibrant illustrations.
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