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Stella & Rose's Books

Specialists in Rare & Collectable Books

Pictorial Bindings

Having recently purchased a large collection of children’s books with pictorial bindings I would like to tell you about them.

What do we mean when we talk about pictorial bindings? Frequently found on children’s books the cloth bindings are stamped in different colours and in many cases embellished with gilt. While pictorial bindings became very popular during the Victorian period with the Art Noveau movement, the majority of the books in our collection are from the Edwardian period with designs printed on the front covers and spines and the title often in gilt.

The collection purchased is so attractive when placed on the shelves altogether, you can see why they are desirable to the collector.

Pictorial BindingsPictorial Bindings

In our collection there are books by numerous different authors – many of whom are famous in their own right, such as:

Frances Hodgson Burnett, a British-American novelist and playwright famous for “The Secret Garden”.

G.A. Henty – an English novelist and war correspondent. He is most well-known for his works of adventure fiction and historical fiction.

George Manville Fenn who was a prolific English novelist, journalist, editor and educationalist. Many of his novels were written with young adults in mind. His final book, written for juveniles, was his biography of fellow author, George Alfred Henty, mentioned above.

Burnett - Two Little Pilgrim's ProgressHenty - The Cornet of HorseFenn - In the King's Name
Burnett, Henty & Fenn

Captain F.S. Brereton  - Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick Sadleir Brereton, CBE who often wrote under the name Captain Brereton. He was a British Army medical officer and an author of children's books on heroic deeds conducted in the name of the British Empire.

Percy F. Westerman, an English author of children's literature, with a prolific output. Many of his books are adventure stories with military and naval themes.

Captain Wilson (Charles James Louis Gilson), who published as Captain Charles Gilson, Major Charles Gilson and Barbara Gilson. He was a British officer and a popular author of science fiction, adventure stories, and historical fiction books for children.

Brereton - With Roberts to CandaharWesterman - The Thick of the Fray at ZeebruggeGilson - The Sword of Freedom
Brereton, Westerman & Gilson

Gunby Hadath - John Edward Gunby Hadath MA FRSA was an English schoolmaster, lawyer, company promoter, songwriter, journalist, and author of boarding school stories. He is best remembered for over seventy novels of which over two-thirds were set in English Public Schools.

L.T.Meade, a prolific writer of girls' stories.

Herbert Strang - the pseudonym of two English authors, George Herbert Ely and Charles James L'Estrange who both specialized in writing adventure stories for boys, both historical and modern-day.

May Baldwin - An accomplished linguist, and a prolific author of girls' school stories.

I could go on but perhaps you would like to see the rest of the collection recently catalogued? If so, please follow this link: But remember – the books look their best altogether on the shelf together like this:

Pictorial Bindings

Author information gleaned from Wikipedia.

Contributed by Maria

(Published 28th Mar 2023)

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