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Birthday party
Title : Birthday party Birthday party View More Images
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Creator : Valentine, L. (Laura), d. 1899
Source : Aunt Louisa's welcome visitor ...
Place Of Creation : London; New York
Publisher : F. Warne; Scribner Welford
Date of creation : [187-?]
Additional Creator : Kronheim, Joseph Martin, 1810-1896
Format : Book
Dimensions : 270 mm
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
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Description :

The contents of Aunt Louisa's welcome visitor... include The Birthday party; Children's lullabies; The courtship, marriage, death and burial of Cock Robin and The King, Queen and Knave of Hearts. The illustrations are unsigned but printed by Kronheim.

The rich colours and the elaborate style of the children's clothes are highlighted by Kronheim's colour printing process. May Cecil's birthday party is a splendid affair and in the text May greets her guests as they arrive. Games are played and then the children dance in the ballroom; later enjoying a festive supper.

Not all children would have such a party as this, but for May, and the class she is representative of, it was the opportunity to practice the social skills she would require as an adult in society.

Aunt Louisa (Laura Jewry Valentine) was the author of a number of beautifully produced picture or toy books. These were popular in the mid-19th century and were fairly standard in format, with six or so pages of colour with text between. Publisher Dean & Son pioneered this type of book and later Frederick Warne and George Routledge entered the market. Large print runs were required to keep the price of the books low enough to encourage purchase.

Further reading :

Ray, Gordon Norton. The illustrator and the book in England from 1790 to 1914, [New York]: Pierpont Morgan Library, [1976]

Whalley, Joyce Irene. Cobwebs to catch flies: illustrated books for the nursery and schoolroom, 1700-1900, London: Elek, 1974

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