Dedicated to old Ladybird books - 1914 -1975

Category

History

What do I mean by ‘History’?  Actually a couple of different things.

When did Ladybird books begin?

Well it depends what you count as a Ladybird book.  The company behind them, Wills & Hepworth, started printing the occasional children’s book as long ago as 1914 – but these are very different from the books we associate with the brand.Books in the distinctive Ladybird format first appeared in 1940.  The next key date is 1972, when the company was sold at the height of its success.  Success gradually waned – although the decision to close down UK printing altogether in 1999 remains controversial.  On various blog posts here you will find parts of the story, which I’ll draw together some time soon.  In the meantime, here’s a brief summary

‘History’ too can refer to the biographies of the key players – especially the artists, so you’ll find a lot of information here.

It can also refer to the biggest series of Ladybird books, the History series, mainly written by L du Garde Peach and illustrated by John Kenney. Either way, you should find quite a lot of information in the posts below

Art, History

How it works: the special stamp

Let’s be honest, in this sad and sorry world, there’s not a lot of work out there for a Ladybird book consultant.  But they say every dog has its day.  Sometimes a commission comes along that matches a niche interest…

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Art, History

Facts, thoughts and Ladybird Experts

Facts, thoughts and Ladybird Experts In some ways, the timing couldn’t have been better.  Just as everyone was talking about facts and alternative facts and the state of the world ‘post-fact’ – just when Trump draws our attention to climate…

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Collecting Ladybird books, History

100 years … of what?

It’s finally here. Let the party begin. A centenary of Ladybird Books. It says so here, and here …and here … Radio programmes and newspaper articles and exhibitions and celebratory re-publishing … Some starting now, lots in the pipeline. Expect…

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History, News & reviews

The Ladybird Story – My Review

The Ladybird Book Story is a new publication based on a PhD thesis by Lorraine Johnson and co-written by Brian Alderson; published by The British Library. Here’s a very quick summary of what I’m going to say for those who…

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Artists, History

The Ladybird Book that never was

  The original Kenney versions and a 1978 version When I met John Kenney’s relative (see last post) she asked me whether Ladybird had ever published a book in the Robin Hood series called ‘The Spy’. The reason for this…

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