The Kate Greenaway Autograph Book
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As well as offering blank pages to fill with the autographs of the talented and famous, the book features a history of autograph collecting, advice on how to begin a collection and ideas on how to organize the album. At the end there is a Wall of Friendship, a section where the owner can record the names of close friends and family.
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- RRP: £4.99
- ISBN: 978-1-873329-13-9
- Format: 120 x 160 mm
- Pictures: 60 colour
- Binding: Hardback
- Extent: 128 pages
- Rights: All available except UK, US
- Edition: 1st
The Kate Greenaway Autograph Book offers today’s autograph collector more than just blank pages for pop icons and sporting heroes to sign. The book is divided into six sections, each beginning with a full-page picture. It includes a biography of Kate Greenaway and a short introduction which defines an autograph, narrates the history of the subject and gives advice on starting a collection. It ends with a list of Further Reading and a Wall of Friendship, a secret section which, unlike the rest of the book, you fill in yourself with the names of your closest friends and family.
At the time of her death in 1901, Kate Greenaway had established herself as one of the most popular children’s illustrators of all time. She wrote, illustrated and designed all her major books herself, and also produced paintings, greetings and Christmas cards. In common with other books in Sheldrake’s successful Kate Greenaway collection, this autograph book contains a number of illustrations which are reproduced here for the first time since their original publication.
Wall of Friendship
Kate Greenaway was born in London in 1846. By the time of her death in 1901, she was a successful and world-renowned book illustrator, admired by contemporaries such as John Ruskin. Her illustrations depict scenes from the mid-19th century and convey her nostalgic love of childhood, home life and rural tranquillity. Her work remains popular today and is commemorated by the Kate Greenaway Medal, awarded annually to a children’s illustrator for distinguished work.
‘PLEASE MAY I HAVE YOUR AUTOGRAPH?’
What exactly is an autograph? A duke once wrote in a very persistent boy’s autograph book:
‘You are a nuisance.’
If you had asked Charles II’s mistress Nell Gwynn for her autograph, she would have written:
because those were her initials (for Eleanor Gwynn), and she didn’t know how to write anything else.
Napoleon Bonaparte often signed himself simply:
He was a very busy man and had a lot of documents to sign.
All these are autographs. An autograph is literally anything written in a person’s own handwriting. The word comes from the Greek autos meaning ‘self’ and graphos meaning ‘writing’: self-writing. Usually it will be a signature, but it may also be a postcard, a letter, a signed cheque, a verse from a poem – anything, so long as it is handwritten. The wonderful thing about a piece of handwriting is that it is always unique: even if two copies are made with identical words, they are never exactly the same.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
People have been collecting autographs for hundreds of years. In the 16th century educated men and women carried around albums in which they asked friends to write their signatures, add an illuminating motto or phrase or even paint a picture. These volumes, sometimes filled with beautiful watercolours, were called alba amicorum, or albums of friends. The idea of encouraging people to make comments became popular again at the end of the 19th century. In so-called books of questions, eminent people were asked to name their favourite poets, painters or composers, record their pet likes and dislikes or to explain their ideas of pleasure or pain.
ABOUT THE SERIES
The Kate Greenaway Collection is a range of charming stationery books, decorated with cameos of the finest of Kate Greenaway’s work. Beautiful and practical, produced on high-quality art paper with ample space for writing, the books contain rare Kate Greenaway illustrations discovered by a private collector. The books are perfect gifts for anyone who appreciates Kate Greenaway’s vision of innocent enjoyment and beauty.