London: George Routledge & Sons, 1883-95. A set of fourteen Kate Greenaway almanacs plus a facsimile, probably printed in 1973, of Greenaway’s 1885 Alphabet. Greenaway’s Almanacks were published between 1883 and 1897, though no almanac was published in 1896. Color illustrations throughout. Slight rubbing at edges and some rubbing on boards of the 1889, 1893, and 1895 volumes. Light foxing, as usual. Some damp staining on back board of 1888 volume. Additionally, some staining on endpapers of 1890 volume, but in general the 1890 and 1891 volumes are remarkably bright and clean. Overall a very good set of sound volumes with clean, bright illustrations throughout. In a custom red full morocco pull-apart case with chemise, stamped in gilt on spine and cover and lettered in gilt on spine, produced in the mid-twentieth century by W. Root & Son Binders, London. Publisher’s glazed paper boards with illustrations. 1889 volume is bound in publisher’s brown cloth boards. 1884, 1886, and 1892 volumes are bound in imitation vellum and, along with the 1889 volume, gilt-edged and lettered in gilt on front boards. 1884 volume is a 12mo stitched pamphlet. Fourteen volumes, thirteen twentfourmo, one twelvemo. Item #16641
Catherine “Kate” Greenaway (1846-1901) was a painter and illustrator whose artworks appeared in dozens of books over the course of her career, including volumes of poetry and short fiction by Robert Browning and Bret Harte. Her work also appeared in fashion and décor: the department store Liberty of London adapted her designs into a popular line of clothing for children; in addition, many middle-class families who were enamored with Greenaway’s work decorated their children’s bedrooms with wallpaper printed with her art. Greenaway’s Almanack series was wildly popular in the United States and much of Europe: the 1883 edition alone sold 90,000 copies. An additional almanac was published in 1897, though no almanac was published in 1896.
Spielman and Layard, Kate Greenaway, p. 122.