Monday, 9 July 2018

Children’s Books 1850–1881 part 1

This series features illustrated children's books mainly from the Victorian era, more specifically from between 1850 and 1904. I found so many interesting books that I decided to split the series. 

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.
Amid this trend, John Newbery (1713-1767), a London-based bookseller, took up full-fledged publication of books that were both "entertaining and useful" for children. A Little Pretty Pocket-book, published by Newbery in 1744, is said to be the first book that provided children with not only moral lessons but also entertainment. Newbery went on to publish numerous books for middle-class children in urban areas, whose number continued to increase. Newbery became well known in the United States as well; the most prestigious American award for children's literature is named after him - the John Newbery Medal, inaugurated in 1922.

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 1 of an 11-part series on children's books 1850s - 1881:

1850s The Three Bears
published by McLoughlin Bros., New York:

McLoughlin Bros., Inc. was a New York publishing firm that pioneered the systematic use of colour printing technologies in children's books, particularly between 1858 and 1920. The firm's publications served to popularise illustrators including Thomas Nast, William Momberger, Justin H. Howard, Palmer Cox, and Ida Waugh. 
The artistic and commercial roots of the McLoughlin firm were first developed by John McLoughlin, Jr. (1827-1905), who, as a teenager learned wood engraving and printing while working for Elton & Co. - a New York firm formed by his father John McLoughlin, Sr. and engraver/printer Robert H. Elton.

1855 Remarkable History of Five Little Pigs
published by Willis P. Hazard, Philadelphia, PA:

1855 Truant Bunny
published by McLoughlin Bros., New York:

1858 The Frog Who Would A Wooing Go
published by Brown, Taggard & Chase, Boston, MA:

1865 Merry Conceits by Charles H. Ross
published by George Routledge & Sons, London:

Charles Henry Ross ( 1835 – 12 October 1897 ) was an English writer and cartoonist. He contributed a series of engravings, entitled "A Happy Day in a Varlet's Life. In a Series of Hard Lines," to the Ninth Season in 1868 of “Beeton’s Christmas Annual.”  He died in London.

George Routledge (23 September 1812 – 13 December 1888) was a British publisher, the founder of the publishing house Routledge.
Routledge gained his early experience of business with Thurnam & Sons, booksellers, at Carlisle. Moving to London in 1833, he started in business for himself as a bookseller in 1836, and as a publisher in 1843. He made his first serious success by reprinting the Biblical commentaries of an American writer, Albert Barnes.
Routledge's fame as a publisher, however, rests mainly on popular books. A series of “Shilling” volumes, the "Railway Library", was an immense success, including as it did Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,”  and he also published in cheap form some of the writings of Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, Bulwer-Lytton, and Benjamin Disraeli. He also brought out a number of shilling books in "Routledge's Universal Library" (also known as "Morley's Universal Library.”
Once styled Routledge, Warne & Routledge,  his firm changed its name to that of George Routledge & Sons in 1858.  A branch of the business was established in New York in 1854.

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