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, Trivia

The Little Boy who ISN’T Peter

Whenever anyone writes the story of the Peter and Jane Key Word Reader books, they, not unnaturally, tell a similar story: that the first Peter and Jane book was published in 1964, written by William Murray and illustrated by Harry…

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Events, History

New Ladybird Gallery

Last Friday (10th March) saw the official opening of the Museum of English Rural Life, (MERL for short) Ladybird Books gallery.  This was my second visit to the museum but I thought I should wait until after the official opening…

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