Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times

It’s Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times again, it comes around so quickly. This meme is hosted by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness.

Folio Society Books

Jack took this photo and as this shelf is home to a lot of my books too I thought I would just use it this week. The shelves contain mainly Folio books, yonks ago we were in the Folio Book Club, the books are so beautifully produced – a real pleasure to handle. I’m just going to mention a few of them. Quite a lot of these books have been bought secondhand over the years though – such as the two by Dorothy L. Sayers – Murder Must Advertise and Have His Carcase. I see from the price pencilled inside that they cost me all of £3 each – bargain!

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is one of those books that I have collected a few copies of. This Folio edition is illustrated by Dodie Masterman, there aren’t a lot of drawings and they’re not coloured but I really like them. I’m presuming that she also designed the cover.

The Secret Garden cover
Murder Must Advertise cover

Have his Carcase cover

The collection of short stories by Katherine Mansfield is illustrated by Susan Wilson but I can’t find any images of her work on the internet. The design of the book cover is very jazzy I think.

Lastly Perrault’s Fairy Tales illustrated by Edmund Dulac is a beauty inside and outside, you can see some of the illustrations here.

Short Stories cover
Perrault's Fairy Tales cover

Children’s Classics from Edinburgh


I have a lot of children’s classic books, some which originally belonged to my own children but quite a lot of them I bought because I hadn’t read them and I wanted to catch up with things which I had somehow missed out on.

But the books in the photo above were recent purchases from an Edinburgh bookshop and were incredible bargains. The first one, the small blue hardback is called The Children of Primrose Lane by Noel Streatfield. I swithered about buying this one but when I opened it up and read what Noel Streatfield had written as a preamble, I only got to the first sentence before deciding to buy it, she says: This book is about wartime Britain. That was enough for me.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, illustrated by Graham Rust. Well, who doesn’t love that book and this one is lovely, actually far nicer than the Folio edition, surprisingly.

The Pied Piper of Hamlin by Robert Browning and illustrated by Kate Greenaway. Beatrix Potter was appalled by Greenaway’s slightly out of scale drawings but I love them. I have a thing about classic fairy tales, probably because I wasn’t told any by my mother, she told me horror stories about concentration camps instead! Honestly it’s a wonder I turned out so normal, well I think I am! Of course the fairy tale versions that we know have all been sanitized for wee ears. Originally they were scarier and quite naughty.

The Adventures of Tom Bombadil by J.R.R. Tolkien, illustrated by Pauline Baines. It’s a book of verses which was published after The Hobbit. Pauline Baines also did the book covers for C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books in the 1960s.