MacDonald’s At the Back of the North Wind (1924?)

There’s not a whole lot to say about today’s book: A 1920s edition of George MacDonald’s Victorian children’s book, At the Back of the North Wind, published by David McKay of Philadelphia. Hathitrust dates this edition, which includes four color plates by Gertrude A Kay, to 1924. Based on the cover and illustration style (color-halftone of the sorts we’ve seen in the last few posts) anything from the 1910s to 1920s makes sense to me.

My  edition is bound in red cloth, with a color-halftone onlay on the front cover:

img_4967

img_4968

Rather tattered, but I love the shape of the top hat.

The spine is simple black text directly on the cover.

img_4981

There’s a bookplate on the inside front cover, partially obscuring what looks like a color lithograph endpaper design.

img_4969img_4982

The paper is wove, and the typeface looks fairly modern. Aside from the four color-halftone illustrations, the book is pretty plain.

The initial letter of each chapter is epigraphic, but otherwise the actual text is very simple:

img_4975

I’m noticing that illustrations in children’s books use a LOT of orange (based on the handful I’ve discussed on this blog, anyway). To me, it seems a bit garish, but maybe kids just really liked orange things in the early twentieth-century:

img_4976

img_4978img_4979

It’s been a number of years, but I remember this being a fun read–particularly if you enjoy nineteenth-century children’s literature as I do. You can listen to it for free at Librivox, or read it for free at Project Gutenberg–so if you’re looking for something interesting to do with the kiddos (or on your own), this might be of interest.

Until next time!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s