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After hands are washed
Title : After hands are washed After hands are washed View More Images
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Source : Only for very good children a book of joys for girls and boys
Place Of Creation : London; New York
Publisher : Ernest Nister; E.P. Dutton & Co.
Date of creation : [1891]
Additional Creator : Gilbert Collection
Format : Book
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
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Donated by : Gilbert Family
Copyright : Reproduction rights are owned by State Library of South Australia. This image may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires permission from the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :

Stories and poems for children illustrated in colour and sepia. Charming wide-eyed children in an idyllic world, Nister's books presented childhood as it was sentimentalised and idealised in the late 19th century. The cover is an invitation to open the book and in the introduction, the children plead with their mother to be allowed to see more '...oh, you'll be good for us all!' (Introduction p. 2)

Only families of the middle and upper classes could have afforded a book such as this and as Ivy Lucy recalls: 'We could read only when the jobs were completed and we had washed our hands - but not on Sundays.' (Bayfield, p. 3)

Ernest Nister is most noted for his moveable and pop-up books, however, he also published many other books which were sold both in England and the United States. From his headquarters in Germany he used the technical skills of his printers to produce books with romanticized images of childhood - blond curls, blue eyes and cherubic cheeks - specifically targeting his selected markets. Research has shown that Christmas time was his most prolific period.
Period : 1884-1913
Further reading :

'Ernest Nister', The Renier Collection of historic and contemporary children's books: occasional list, number 8, 1991

Bayfield, Juliana, The Lucy Collection children's books and games of the nineteenth century [Adelaide: The Library], 1984

Hunt, Julia. 'Ernest Nister', Newsletter of the Children's Books History Society, number 58, July 1997, pp. 19-20

Krahe, Hildegard E. 'The importance of being Ernest Nister', Phaedrus, 1988 pp. 71-90

Muir, Percy H. English children's books, 1600 to 1900, London: Batsford, [1954]

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