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

History, Society

What To Look For – In Vain

A few weeks ago, I was searching through my Ladybird Books, looking for a suitable picture to use for the commemoration of the D-Day Landings.  It proved very hard to find anything – and reminded me how very few pictures…

Read more
History

Today in Ladybird history …

Recently I’ve been having a lot of fun sending daily tweets along the lines of: on this day in history … I find a historical fact and then illustrate it with a relevant picture from a Ladybird Book. Here’s are…

Read more
History, Reading schemes

Remembering William Murray

As the recent documentary on Ladybird Books made clear, William Murray, creator – with McNally – of Peter and Jane, was a commited educationalist.  His methodical, scientific approach  to the teaching of literacy was what first enthused Douglas Keen and…

Read more
Events, History

Amidst all the kerfuffle

about the Timeshift documentary, a reminder of the forthcoming Ladybird ‘Centenary’: http://www.loughboroughecho.net/news/local-news/plans-pipeline-mark-ladybird-books-6414378

Read more
Art, Artists, History

B H Robinson – Ladybird artist

I’ve just made a new page about the life and work of the Ladybird artist B H Robinson. He illustrated a large number of books for Ladybird in the late 70s and 80s, including ‘Horses’ ‘Dogs’ and many of the…

Read more
Collectors, History

Puffin Picture Books

Why did Ladybird become so successful through the 1950s and 60s? With the steer of Douglas Keen, Ladybird began to commission more and more non-fiction titles.  These titles clearly filled a gap in the educational market and I have read…

Read more
History

Reading on the tube

A couple of good friends visited me from the USA this summer. Of course they wanted to visit London and were especially keen to see The Tower of London. Since you get more out of a visit when you know…

Read more
Close
error: