about the Timeshift documentary, a reminder of the forthcoming Ladybird ‘Centenary’: http://www.loughboroughecho.net/news/local-news/plans-pipeline-mark-ladybird-books-6414378Read more
- About Me
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
Robert Lumley and Eric Winter are the two artists I am most often asked about. This reflects the enduring popularity of the 27 Well Loved Tales titles issued between 1964 (starting with Cinderella) until The Musicians of Bremen (1974). (For…Read more
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
Here is the first part of Rupert Ayton’s recollections of his Uncle Robert, the Ladybird Illustrator. There will be several more ‘chapters’ to follow. But for now … Part 1 – The Story of FlightRead more
I’ve added a new biography page to Below you’ll find a biography of Robert Norton Ayton, illustrator of many Ladybird Books from the ‘golden age’ of the 1960s and 70s. You’ll find it here Coming soon: Reminiscences of Ayton’s life…Read more