This is NOT to say that if your title is last on the list that you definately have a first edition - there are other issue points to consider! An example of this exception is demonstrated with the image opposite - the title of this book is Smoke and Fluff - note that this title does not appear in the list and therefore could be presumed to be a first edition - BUT it's not! This is actually a fifth edition from as this is stated on the front flyleaf. If your book is somewhere within the list and not the last entry then you definitely do NOT have a first edition Ladybird book.
White titles A few early ladybird books had their titles first printed in white - these were changed to black in later printings. The titles that were originally published with white titles are: William the Conqueror, British Birds and their Nests, King Alfred the Great, The Silver Arrow, The Child of the Temple, The Story of Daniel and The Little Lord Jesus. If you have any of the above titles and they have white titling, and are last in the list of the back flap, then it is safe to say they are first editions.
If your book has this logo then it is from or before. In the logo was changed to the closed-winged Ladybird, which can be seen on the right. If your book has this logo then it is from or later. Both these logos are usually found in the middle of the front flyleaf opposite the title page as well as at the top of the back inside flap of the dust-wrappers. Post the logo could be found in the middle of the dust-wrapper's back cover.
Dating the endpapers Ladybird books can also be approximately dated by examining their endpapers. Below are the examples of different endpapers, and the period of time in which they were used. Pictorial Endpapers If the endapers are pictorial have a drawing, rather than pattern and have no colouring to them then your book is most likely from or earlier. Some post Ladybird books did have pictorial endpapers but these were printed in colour ink.
The image above shows the pictorial endpapers of a edition of Smoke and Fluff. The illustration to the back endpaper often differed to the front one. Brown open-winged Endpapers The first patterned endpapers was the brown, open-winged ladybird of which an example can be seen on the right. This style of endpaper was used between and , so if your book has this pattern to it then your book is dated sometime between these dates.
Blue open-winged Endpapers Ladybird started to use blue ink for the open-winged endpapers in and continued this through to This meant there was an overlap of four years where both patterned endpapers were being used. If the book has blue patterned endpapers like the image on the left then it can be dated from somewhere between and Pictorial boards and pastedowns Pictorial boards were found under the dust-wrappers of early editions of the and the series. In these editions have a small picture, that was usually the same illustration as that on the dust-wrapper, pasted to it's front board inside a black-lined frame.
The book on the left shows the dust-wrapper and the front board of a edition of Smoke and Fluff. It is surprising how often that soulmate turns out not to be on the other side of the world, but fairly nearby and reasonably drunk. Jake is always saying things like this. Book Of The Hangover What a confusing world it can seem with a hangover. Sit as still as you can.
Do not attempt to make any decisions. Look out of the window. Can you recognise simple shapes or colours? Is there a moon or sun in the sky? What sort of name might you have? Where might there be bacon? I learned to read through them. As a kid, you felt a bit special being given one. In their new title The Wife, for example, one picture shows a young bride cutting the wedding cake with her husband. It is the best day of her life. Next year, she will claim that becoming a mother was the best day of her life, but only because she was on some very strong drugs.
The best day of her life was her eighth birthday, when she got a yellow bike. The bride in the picture was a woman named Jenny Keen, whose father, Douglas, was the driving force behind the original Ladybird books. The inspiration they sparked has never faded. Share or comment on this article.
The Ladybird Book of Dating
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