Friday, 28 November 2014

Princess Mary’s Gift Book

From the Dewsbury Reporter, 28th November 1914.


There has just been published at 2s 6d a very entertaining volume, proceeds on the sale of which will be given to the Queen’s Work for Women Fund.  Its literary contributors include Sir J. M. Barrie, who writes “A Holiday in Bed”, George Birmingham, Sir A. Conan Doyle, Mr A. E. W. Mason, and Mr. Rudyard Kipling (with a poem, “Big Steamers”).  The frontispiece is a capital reproduction of Mr. Shannon’s portrait of Princess Mary, and other illustrations (many in colour) are by such well known men as Messrs. C. E. Brook, C. N. Henry, Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac, Norman Wilkinson, Joseph Simpson, and Claude Shepperson.  Several charity volumes appear annually in aid of worthy causes, but it may be safely said that in this case the combination of talent will make the book as memorable as the situation that has called it forth.

[The Gift Book was aimed at the Christmas market, I think.  An earlier report on its printing had appeared in The Observer on  November 15th, 1914:]

The demand for “Princess Mary's Gift Book” is so great that the printers are working night and day on the first enormous edition.  As some evidence of the interest taken by the bookselling trade in “Princess Mary's Gift Book” it may be mentioned that Messrs. W. H. Smith and Son have placed a first order for a minimum of 60,000 copies (one of the largest first orders ever given for a book), while Messrs. Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent and Co.'s first order is for minimum of 25,000 copies.

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