London: George Routledge and Sons; J. M. Dent & Co, 1883 - 1897. First edition. Hardcover. A complete set of first edition Greenaway Almanacks, 17 volumes in all, with 2 duplicates (1884 & 1886, in imitation white vellum covers) and a copy of her alphabet, all housed in a custom brown gilt leather and blue cloth clam shell slip case.
A very good, complete set of Greenaway works which embody the spirit of illustration for children. The Almanacks appeal also lay in each new year's choice of decorations for the seasons. Although the Almanacks popularity was a bit more erratic than her major works, in America they had sales of almost twice the British market; the 1883 was the best selling year, with more than 90,000 sold. The Greenaway craze inspired imitations and spin offs and even a line of clothing based on the clothing shown in her illustrations. Ultimately, Greenaway's works constitute one of the primary influences on children's illustration and children's publishing.
The set consists of fourteen 24mo volumes (1887 is oblong 24mo), and two copies of the 12mo Almanack for 1884. No Almanack was published for 1896. Numerous wood engraved text illustrations after Greenaway printed in color by Edmund Evans.
In the original bindings, glazed pictorial boards with cloth spines (1883, 1885, 1886, 1887, 1888, 1889, 1890, 1891, 1892, 1893, 1894, and 1895); 1884 in stiff printed pictorial wrappers; and glassine wrapper on imitation morocco (1897).
1893 loose in covers; the glassine wrapper for 1897 slightly chipped at edges, otherwise very good condition. The leather spine on clam shell slip case chipped, but gilt title intact; the top hinge of the case split. Very good condition. Item #24711