This first series features books from between the 1850s to 1881.
Books from between 1881 to 1904 will appear here later in the year.
Until the mid-18th century, children's books mainly consisted of moralistic or enlightening stories propagating the religious and ethical view that hard work and diligence determines a person's life. Little consideration was given to children's reading pleasure.
The focus in children's books gradually shifted from simple moral lessons to entertainment, with techniques of expression employed specifically for that purpose. Books carrying witty illustrations or exploring children's inner life also began to appear. The mid-19th century saw the development of girls' novels and narratives of family life.
This is part 8 of an 11-part series on children's books 1850s - 1881:
1880 Afternoon Tea by J.G. Sowerby & H.H. Emmerson
published by Frederick Warne & Co., London:
Henry Hetherington Emmerson ( 11 November 1831 – 28 August 1895 ) commonly known by his initials H. H. Emmerson, was an English painter and illustrator.
Emmerson was born in Chester-le-Street in 1831. At the age of 13, he went to Newcastle, where he studied painting and engraving under William Bell Scott at the Government School of Art. After some two and a half years under Scott's tutelage, Emmerson was sent to Paris to study for six months as the beneficiary of a clergyman who had taken interest in his work. After his return, he was accepted into the Royal Academy in London.
Emmerson also provided illustrations to children's books, including “Afternoon Tea” ( 1880 ) and “The May Blossom” ( 1881 ). “Afternoon Tea,” although well received by reviewers attracted a bit of controversy, as some claimed it was a cheap derivative of “Under the Window,” a popular 1879 book by Kate Greenaway.
Greenaway herself considered the book "blatant piracy", while Sowerby argued the illustrations were not imitations but merely in the same genre.
1880 Baby's Birthday and How it Was Spent
published by Porter & Coates, Philadelphia, PA:
Porter & Coates. In 1848, Robert Porter and Charles Davis founded Davis & Porter Company, a Philadelphia firm specialising in the printing of trade and art books. When Henry Coates joined the firm in 1867, it was renamed Davis, Porter & Coates. Davis retired in 1867 and the firm was renamed Porter & Coates. In 1869, G. Morrison Coates, brother of Henry Coates, joined the firm. 1895, founder Robert Porter retired, and the firm became Henry T. Coates & Co. The company became famous for creating Home and Garden magazine and publishing the Horatio Alger Junior titles. In 1904, Coates retired and sold the company to John C. Winston.
1880 Clever Hans by the Brothers Grimm
illustrated by J. Lawson
published by Thomas de la Rue & Co., London:
John Lawson (born 1838 Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland – died 13 July 1908 London).
Though he worked variously as a painter, sculptor and stained glass designer, John Lawson is best remembered as an illustrator of books and periodicals. His early, predominantly black and white, images mark him out as one of that striking generation of the ‘Illustrators of the Sixties’, and relate to those by his fellow Scotsman, Joseph Noel Paton, who is likely to have been a close friend. However, his later colour plates reveal his ability to adapt to a new market for popular children’s books and annuals, and so work alongside his eldest daughter, Lizzie Mack.
Nothing is known of Lawson’s education, and he is first appears as an artist when he begins to exhibit works at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1857. By 1861 Lawson was describing himself as a ‘glass stainer’s designer.’
By 1881, both Lawson and his eldest child, Elizabeth, were working as artists from 23 Glebe Place, Chelsea. Gaining a reputation as an illustrator of children’s books by the early 1880s, Lizzie Lawson married the writer and editor, Robert Ellice Mack, in September 1886, who would become Director of the London office of the publisher, Nister, in 1888. At various times, she and her husband worked both together and with her father.
Thomas de la Rue & Co. were founded in 1821 by Thomas de la Rue as a stationer and printer. By 1831 they were printing playing card under a Royal Warrant. By 1855 printing postage stamps, and by 1860, bank notes. The family sold their interests in the company in 1921. In 1991 the company became De La Rue PLC.
1880 Grandmother Puss or The Grateful Mouse
published by McLoughlin Brothers, New York: