372Q: 1940s classy children’s anthology

I’m trying to find a much-loved book given to a relative around 1948 (in England, so presumably a UK publisher).

It’s an anthology of stories and poems for children, clearly by someone who loved literature and didn’t want to look down on children or preach to them. It included things like Christina Rossetti’s poem “Goblin Market” and the Chinese folktale “Blue Rose”, and had illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley (obviously not done for the book as he was long dead).

The book is hardback with a leaf-green cover, and fairly large.

9 thoughts on “372Q: 1940s classy children’s anthology

  1. Ann

    Could this be Louis and Bryna Untermeyer: The Golden Treasury of Children’s Literature, published in several volumes in the 1940s? An abridged single-volume edition was published in the 1960s.

  2. Gill

    Could the illustrations have been by an artist with a similar style to Beardsley, but not actually Beardsley? Perhaps Florence Harrison?

    I haven’t found a book containing both “Goblin Market” and “Blue Rose”.

    However, there aren’t many details available on the volume: “The Favourite Wonder Book” published by Odhams in 1936, and reprinted in the ’40s.

    According to “Christina Rossetti and illustration : a publishing history” which can be read here, if you join the library:


    …it does contain “Goblin Market” and is well illustrated.

    There’s a copy on Etsy, along with some photos. The cover is blue (but editions may have different colours), and it’s hardback.


    If it looks familiar, the vendor may be able to provide more details

    1. Laurence

      Gill, thank you so much for this and the follow-ups. That looks exactly right! Fingers crossed it will be.

      Very much appreciated,


  3. Gill

    And it has “The Blue Rose”, page 683.

    One of the UK Ebay listings has more shots of the contents pages. Look for “The Favourite Wonder Book h/b”, vendor is “apjmaac”

  4. Laurence

    Thanks so much Ann and MamaSquirrel. I’m amazed and impressed at this community of knowledgeable people who are able to even suggest titles on so little information!


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