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Books published by publisher British Library

  • The Cat That Walked by Himself: And Other Stories

    Rudyard Kipling

    Hardcover (British Library, Oct. 15, 2010)
    Originally collected in Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories in 1902, The Cat that Walked by Himself is one of the best-loved cat tales ever written. It is a story of the beginning of domesticated life: Man meets Woman and they move into a cave and set up the first household. Dog, Horse, and Cow come out of the Wild Woods and become tame. But Cat refuses, “I am not a friend and I am not a servant. I am the Cat who walks by himself and all places are alike to me.” Woman makes a bargain with Cat to allow him to come into the cave and sit by the fire and drink milk. But when night comes, he is once again the Cat that walks by himself. The contrast between the cozy, domestic world and the cold, dark outdoors where the cat still has his freedom make this a compelling tale and a fun take on the independent feline character. This beautiful book is illustrated with the original pen-and-ink drawings by Kipling, including the iconic picture of the cat “walking by his wild lone through the Wet Wild Woods and waving his wild tail”.This edition also offers two other favorite children’s stories told by Kipling, “How the Camel Got His Hump,” ‘”The Elephant’s Child,” and “How the Rhinocerous Got His Skin.” This charming book is the perfect gift for children, cat lovers, and Kipling fans alike.
  • The Black Cat Book

    Walter Copeland, Charles Robinson

    Hardcover (British Library, May 15, 2015)
    This classic children’s book, first published in 1905, combines charming rhymes with beautiful illustrations of cats at play in a wealth of delightful scenes: shopping; throwing a Christmas party; learning to spell; even playing havoc at bath time. The British Library is reprinting this enchanting book, previously almost impossible to find, for the first time in over one hundred years.
  • Nonsense Botany and Nonsense Alphabets: Facsimile of the 1889 Edition

    Edward Lear

    Hardcover (British Library, Aug. 1, 2009)
    Throughout his life, Edward Lear maintained the same love for painting that caused him to be compared to Audubon at age nineteen—and later saw him give brief drawing lessons to Queen Victoria. Nonsense Botany and Nonsense Alphabets contains numerous examples of the illustrations and pictorial descriptions from Edward Lear’s incredibly imaginative reserve of plants and creatures, each with appropriate captions and lyrics. His strange botanical illustrations include the likes of Manypeeplia Upsidownia, Piggiwiggia Pyramidalis, and Pollybirdia Singularis, while the Nonsense Alphabet consists of three sets of illustrated alphabets that twist and turn around bizarrely addictive imagery and language: A was an ape,Who stole some white tape,And tied up his toes,In four beautiful bows.a!Funny old Ape! Regardless of Lear’s inspiration or impetus, these writings and their accompanying images remain adored by children and adults alike, and the more than 150 illustrations presented here testify to Lear’s enduring popularity as a heroically comic poet and serious artist.
  • Grimm's Household Tales

    Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm, Mervyn Peake

    Hardcover (British Library, July 15, 2012)
    The Brothers Grimm, Jacob (1785–1863) and Wilhelm (1786–1859), began collecting folklore in 1806 in response to a renewed German interest in the subject. Their first collection of fairy tales, Children’s and Household Tales, was published in 1812, forever popularizing such stories as “Cinderella,” “Hansel and Gretel,” “Rapunzel,” and “Snow White.” Mervyn Peake’s illustrated edition of the Grimms’ Household Tales was originally published in 1946, and this is the first time it has been made available since then with the original color illustrations. Like the Grimms’ stories, Peake’s illustrations combine the comic and the sinister and evoke a strong sense of childhood fear and humor. Stories by the Grimms remain wildly popular to this day, and this beautiful edition contains many old favorites such as “Sleeping Beauty,” “Rumpelstiltskin,” “Snow White,” and “Cinderella,” as well as a number of less familiar tales. Complementing the stories and illustrations is an introduction by novelist Sarah Waters, a lifelong fan of Peake’s illustrations.
  • Kings and Queens

    Eleanor Farjeon, Herbert Farjeon, Rosalind Thornycroft

    Hardcover (British Library, Nov. 30, 2011)
    First published in 1932, Herbert and Eleanor Farjeon’s Kings and Queens is considered a classic of children’s literature. The charming poems, each one dedicated to a different King or Queen, tell the story of the forty-one English monarchs since William I in a humorous manner that has delighted generations of children. This beautiful facsimile edition features wonderful illustrations by the artist Rosalind Thornycroft and presents the book as it was originally designed to be enjoyed. Its witty approaches to history will entertain children and parents alike.
  • Nonsense Songs and Stories

    Edward Lear

    Hardcover (British Library, Aug. 1, 2009)
    Children around the world have heard of “The Owl and the Pussycat.” Perhaps they have even recounted the tale of “The Dong With a Luminous Nose” or “The Pobble Who Has No Toes”; maybe you have heard your own son or daughter singing along with “The Jumblies”: “They went to sea in a Sieve they did, In a Sieve they went to sea.” Edward Lear’s poetry and prose celebrates the unbridled joys of living and has influenced writers and illustrators as far-ranging as Terry Gilliam and Ricky Gervais. Nonsense Songs and Stories contains some of Lear’s best known poetry about real and imagined creatures, each characterized by the author’s irreverent view of the world and timeless, whimsical vision. Whether you grew up with Lear’s flights of poetic fancy or a fan of his captivatingly clever illustrations, this volume is sure to delight, surprise, and inspire you.
  • Grammar-Land: Grammar in Fun for the Children of Schoolroom-shire

    M. L. Nesbitt

    Hardcover (British Library, Oct. 15, 2010)
    Before the days of Schoolhouse Rock’s jingles like “Conjunction Junction,” and silly English class acronyms like the “Fan Boys,” there was the playful primer Grammar-Land, which has been teaching children (and adults in need of a refresher) the basic rules of English grammar since its first publication in the 1870s. In the allegorical world of Grammar-Land, the nine parts of speech—rich Mr. Noun, his useful friend Pronoun, little ragged Article, talkative Adjective, busy Dr. Verb and Adverb, perky Preposition, convenient Conjunction, and irksome Interjection—are brought to trial by Judge Grammar to settle disputes over the rules of language. Each part of speech is called in turn to take the stand, where they are questioned by Doctor Syntax and Sergeant Parsing. In the course of the amusing trial, the reader, perhaps without even realizing it, is exposed to the most important rules of grammar. This charming facsimile edition once again brings the characters of Grammar-Land to life for the entertainment and edification of a new generation of adults and children alike.
  • The Tell-Tale Heart: And Other Stories

    Edgar Allan Poe, Greg Buzwell

    Hardcover (British Library Publishing, Jan. 1, 2017)
    A masquerade ball in a secluded abbey; a vendetta settled in the wine cellars of an Italian palazzo; a gloomy castle in a desolated landscape; the beating of a heart beneath the floorboards: the plots and settings of Poe’s dark, mysterious tales continue to haunt the popular imagination. This new selection introduces the greatest Gothic fiction from one of the most deranged and deliciously weird writers of the 19th century. The tales are accompanied by the classic illustrations of Harry Clarke, an artist fully alive to the deep darkness at the heart of Poe’s writing.
  • The Haunted Library: Classic Ghost Stories

    Tanya Kirk

    Paperback (British Library Publishing, Jan. 1, 2017)
    The Haunted Library is a new collection of classic ghost stories—many of which have never before been anthologized—from the golden age of the genre in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Each of these stories revolves around the arcane secrets and dark psychic traces to be found in libraries, museums and other treasure troves of hidden knowledge. The 12 stories included are "The Nature of the Evidence" by May Sinclair, "Mr Tallent’s Ghost" by Mary Webb, "The Lost Tragedy" by Denis Mackaill, "Bone to His Bone" by Edmund Gill Swain, "Herodes Redivivus" by A. N. L. Munby, "The Book" by Margaret Irwin, "The Whisperers" by Algernon Blackwood, "The Tractate Middoth" by M. R. James, "Afterward" by Edith Wharton, "Fingers of a Hand" by Theo Douglas, "The Apple Tree" by Elizabeth Bowen, and "The Work of Evil" by William Croft Dickinson.
  • Death Has Deep Roots: A Second World War Mystery

    Michael Gilbert

    Paperback (British Library Publishing, March 10, 2019)
    At the Central Criminal Court, an eager crowd awaits the trial of Victoria Lamartine, an active participant in the Resistance during the war. She is now employed at the Family Hotel in Soho, where Major Eric Thoseby has been found murdered. The cause of death? A stabbing reminiscent of techniques developed by the Maquisards. While the crime is committed in England, its roots are buried in a vividly depicted wartime France. Thoseby is believed to have fathered Lamartine's child, and the prosecution insist that his death is revenge for his abandonment of Lamartine and her arrest by the Gestapo. A last-minute change in Lamartine's defence counsel grants solicitor Nap Rumbold just eight days to prove her innocence, with the highest of stakes should he fail. The proceedings of the courtroom are interspersed with Rumbold's perilous quest for evidence, which is aided by his old wartime comrades.
  • Wartime Nursery Rhymes: A First World War Collection

    Nina Macdonald

    Hardcover (British Library, Nov. 15, 2014)
    This collection of patriotic nursery rhymes, first published in 1918, was designed to instruct British children about wartime conditions: the necessity of rationing, the bravery of wounded soldiers, and the villainy of the Kaiser. Republished for the first time since 1918 to commemorate the outbreak of World War I, Wartime Nursery Rhymes offers unique insights into a little-known aspect of the war: the experience of children on the home front. This book will make a perfect gift for children of all ages and will also be welcomed by World War I enthusiasts as well as collectors of children’s books.
  • Heroes and Heroines

    Eleanor Farjeon, Herbert Farjeon, Rosalind Thornycroft

    Hardcover (British Library, Oct. 15, 2011)
    Heroes and Heroines, first published in 1933, is a delightful collection of witty and lyrical poems recalling the deeds of heroes and heroines from all round the world, including Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Robin Hood, Christopher Columbus, Sir Francis Drake, George Washington, Napoleon, Florence Nightingale, and Buffalo Bill, among others. This beautiful facsimile edition features wonderful illustrations by the artist Rosalind Thornycroft and presents the book as it was originally designed to be enjoyed. Its witty approach to history will entertain children and parents alike.