Queen’s Treasures Series

George Bell & Sons (London, UK)
Series dates: 1908-1931
Size: 5.5″ x 7″

Of the Queen’s Treasures Series, the Bookman said: “One of the daintiest, we may say most fragrant, series of reprints which have been offered to the public for many a long day.” The 1925 series copy of Lob-Lie-By-The-Fire (shown below) is fragrant, but more must and mold than the delights scented out by the Bookman. In all, 26 titles were issued in the series between 1908 and 1931. Reprints appear through at least 1938.

The Journal of Education (vol. 30, December 1908) included an ad for the new series and its initial four titles. “The series will consist of stories which delighted the young readers of the last generation and will have retained their old-world fascination. The volumes will be well printed on good paper, illustrated in color, and daintily bound.” The series was advertised as a “New Series of Prize Books.” This category of books, suitable to be presented as awards by schools (and other organizations), was a significant part of the UK book market throughout much of the 20th century.

Jackets for the series seem to have been common in design, although I’ve only seen two other jackets (from Cranford, dated 1926 and Black Beauty dated 1931) and both are similar in design to Ewing’s Lob-Lie-By-The-Fire, dated 1925, shown below. It is possible that an earlier jacket design existed.

The series name is indicated at the top of the jacket spine. The jacket front has a printed aperture for the title and author, with another at the bottom of the jacket for the illustrator. The series name is again printed on the jacket front. The front jacket flap lists 12 of the  25 titles in the series. The price is  3s. 6d. net.

The rear of the jacket includes a Bell colophon. The rear jacket flap lists 13 additional titles, for 25 titles total, available in 1925. One more title, Black Beauty, would be added in 1931.

The 26 titles in the Queen’s Treasures Series are listed below by the initial year of publication. Publication years were checked on WorldCat, The Times Digital Archive, the Times Literary Supplement Digital Archive, and Google Books. Most titles were reprinted multiple times, and some retained earlier publication dates.

Cousin Phillis. By Mrs. Gaskell, Illustrated by M.V. Wheelhouse. With an Introduction by Thomas Seccombe.
Six To Sixteen. By Mrs. Ewing. Illustrated by M.V. Wheelhouse.
A Flat Iron For A Farthing. By Mrs. Ewing, Illustrated by M.V. Wheelhouse.
Jan Of The Windmill.
By Mrs. Ewing. Illustrated by M.V. Wheelhouse.

Cranford. By Mrs. Gaskell. Illustrated by M.V. Wheelhouse.
Little Women. By Louisa M. Alcott. Illustrated by M.V. Wheelhouse.
Lob-Lie-By-The-Fire; Or, The Luck Of Lingborough, and Other Stories. By Mrs. Ewing. Illustrated by Alice B. Woodward.
Mrs. Overtheway’s Remembrances. By Mrs. Ewing. Illustrated by M.V. Wheelhouse.

The Brownies. By Mrs. Ewing. Illustrated by Alice B. Woodward.
Silas Marner. By George Eliot. Illustrated by M.V. Wheelhouse.
We And The World. By Mrs. Ewing. Illustrated by M.V. Wheelhouse.

Good Wives. By Louisa M. Alcott, Illustrated by M.V. Wheelhouse.
A Great Emergency. By Mrs. Ewing. Illustrated by M.V. Wheelhouse.

Melchior’s Dream. By Mrs. Ewing. Illustrated by M.V. Wheelhouse.

Jackanapes and Other Stories. By Mrs. Ewing, Illustrated by H.M. Brock.
The Little Duke. By Charlotte M. Yonge. Illustrated by H.R. Millar.
Stories From Aunt Judy. Selected by D. Cunningham Craig, Illustrated by Ethel F. Everett.

Alice In Wonderland. By Lewis Carroll. Illustrated by Alice B. Woodward.
Mother Molly. By F.M. Peard. Illustrated by M.V. Wheelhouse.

Mary’s Meadow and Other Stories. By Mrs. Ewing. Illustrated By M.V. Wheelhouse.

Old-Fashioned Fairy Tales. By Mrs. Ewing. Illustrated by W. Graham Robertson.

Carrots. By Mrs. Molesworth. Illustrated by M.V. Waterhouse.
Lost Legends Of The Nursery Songs. By Mary Senior Clark. Illustrated by Alice B. Woodward.

Parables From Nature. By Margaret Gatty, Illustrated by Alice B. Woodward.

The Queen’s Treasures Book of Verse, by James Compton.

Black Beauty: The Autobiography of a Horse. By Anna Sewell. Illustrated by Alice B. Woodward.

The cloth book covers were unique in design for each title, which accounts in part for the low survival rate of dust jackets on series titles. The assumption was that the jacket would be discarded and the printed, illustrated covers displayed. The covers include the book title, author and illustrator, but no series information. The publisher is included at the base of the spine.

Effusive endpaper designs include an aperture for the owner’s name. The endpaper design is repeated for the rear endpapers, without the aperture.

The half-title page includes the series name and book title:

A list of 24 titles (the Queen’s Treasures Book of Verse, first published in 1925, is missing). Thus the series catalog on the jacket for this title was updated, but not the catalog in the book.

“The Queen’s Treasures Series
Small Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d. net each. With 8 Coloured Plates and Decorated Title Page, Covers, and End Papers.”

A color illustration, one of 8 color illustrations in the book, faces the illustrated, two-color title page. The year of publication (1925, a reprint of this title, first published in the series in 1909) is included on the title page.

No copyright information is included on the reverse of the title page, instead, the book’s dedication.

“Printed in Great Britain by Robert Maclehose and Co., Ltd., The University Press, Glasgow.”