Stead's Publishing House Series Books, 1859-1920


Prepared by Rhonda Rinehart, October 20, 2004
1 half-size record storage box, .5 cubic feet, 11th floor

Historical Note

W. T. Stead was an English journalist and philanthropist who championed the cause of reading by founding both a library and a publishing company. A strong advocate of the poor, Stead made literature available cheaply through his Stead's Publishing House. Books were produced in paperback with product advertisements in front and back. Beginning in 1859 as The Review of Reviews Circulatory Library, Stead began printing the first series of economical books for children. Conjunctively, he established the Masterpiece Library, under which books for adults were published. The Penny Poets was the first series from this library. In 1896 Stead published the series Books for the Bairns. This series included many fairy tales as well as classic literature pieces. Prolifically illustrated, these titles were meant to serve both children and adults with text and visual accompaniment. Irish artist Brinsley Le Fanu provided illustrations for many books in this series. Stead often acted as editor and compiler of many books within series, and often wrote a foreward to the Books for the Bairns series. The longest running series of Stead's publications, Books for the Bairns ended publication in 1920 with final number 288, The Story of Bent Pin.

Scope and Content

This small genre collection includes publications from three Stead's Publishing House series, including the lesser known School and Scholar Series . These books do not include copyright dates. The inventory is arranged alphabetically by author within series. Please note that these books are extremely fragile and may not be photocopied.

Box 1

Folder -- Contents

The School and Scholar Series

  1. Wood, Robert S., [arranged and revised by Robert S. Wood]. Nursery tales; arranged for school reading by Robert S. Wood, 1910, [illustrated].

The Penny Poets

  1. Morris, William, Stories from the earthly paradise. The Penny Poets XI, No. 11 Vol. III.
  2. Spenser, Edmund, Adventures of Britomartis; the lady of chastity; from Spenser's Faerie Queene, The Penny Poets XLVIII, No. 48.
  3. Spenser, Edmund, The story of St. George and the dragon, or, the redcross knight; from Spenser's Faerie Queene, The Penny Poets XVIII, Vol. V, No. 18.
  4. Wood, Robert S., [selected and arranged by Robert S. Wood]. Simple poems for the schoolroom and the scholar, The Penny Poets 49, Part I, 1910, [two copies].

Books for the Bairns

  1. Adams, Marion, The slave of the lamp, or, Aladdin in Japan; a fairy tale play, [illustrated; music by Stephen R. Philpot], Books for the Bairns no. 117.
  2. Bennett, Charles, The stories that Little Breeches told and the pictures that were drawn for them, [illustrated]. Books for the Bairns no. 186.
  3. Black dog of the house, and the moonbeam cap; two delightful new stories, [illustrated]. Books for the Bairns no. 182.
  4. Carnie, Ethel, Lazy-Land and other delightful stories, [illustrated]. Books for the Bairns no. 193.
  5. Crowning of King George V in Westminster Abbey, [illustrated]. Books for the Bairns no. 185.
  6. Davidson, Gladys, Holiday stories, [illustrated], Books for the Bairns no. 115.
  7. Froebel, Friedrich, Froebel's songs and games, [illustrated], Books for the Bairns no. 114, translated by Margaret Levy and Lucy Marks.
  8. Lear, Edward, A book of nonsense; pictures and rhymes that make everybody laugh, [illustrated]. Books for the Bairns no. 147.
  9. Lemon, Mark, Sunday's Bairn, or, the story of Tinykin's transformation, [illustrated], Books for the Bairns no. 107.
  10. Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, The story of Hiawatha; retold in prose by Queenie Scott-Hopper, illustrations by Brinsley Le Fanu, Books for the Bairns no. 113, [two copies].
  11. Pittman, Rosie M. M., Some fairy tales of the ancient Greeks, [illustrated], Books for the Bairns no. 99.
  12. Prower, Maude, Cecily among the birds; with natural history lessons, illustrations by Brinsley Le Fanu. Books for the Bairns no. 126.
  13. Rean, Amy, The brownies, and other fables for little folk, [illustrated]. Books for the Bairns no. 164.
  14. Stead, W. T., [editor], Mother Michel and her cat, [illustrated], Books for the Bairns no. 129.
  15. Stead, W. T., [editor], Old fireside tales, illustrations by B. Le Fanu. Books for the Bairns no. 145.
  16. Stead, W. T., [editor], Prince Want-to-Know; a true account of his journey into the Land of Knowledge, [illustrated], Books for the Bairns no. 116.
  17. Stead, W. T., [editor], The wishing carpet and the princess of the sea, adapted from Golland's version in The Arabian Nights, [illustrated], Books for the Bairns no. 110.
  18. Story of Undine, illustrations by Brinsley Le Fanu. Books for the Bairns no. 163.
  19. Sutherland, Amy, Letters from Fairyland, illustrations by Constance Foxley. Books for the Bairns no. 125.
  20. Miscellaneous loose book covers.