From the preface: "Apart from her work, full record of which is made in the following pages, there was in the life of Kate Greenaway one outstanding feature - her friendship with John Ruskin. It is therefore our first duty and pleasure to put on record our great indebtedness to [Ruskin's executors] for their liberality in allowing us to make copious extracts from Ruskin's side of the vigorous correspondence which was carried on between him and Kate Greenaway for so many years. From Kate Greenaway's side of the correspondence abundant drafts have also been made, for they reveal the writer's character and method of thought better than any independent estimate could do. A word must be said concerning the illustrations. The published works of Kate Greenaway are known, and ought to be found, in every house where children live and are loved. We have therefore confined ourselves, with a few rare and intentional exceptions, to work quite unknown to the public, such as early drawings of the cottage at Rolleston where her career, undreamed of as yet, was being determined, thumb-nail sketches with which she embellished her letters, and more important drawings done for sale to picture-buyers or for presentation to friends."
This book was printed in 1905, first in October and then in December with minor alterations. This is from the December run.
The book is very heavy and requires courier delivery. Bound in dark blue cloth with a coloured design of sprigs of blossom and lettering embossed in gilt, the binding is scuffed on the edges, there is a complete split between the spine and the back board. The end papers, which are covered with a reproduction of Kate Greenaway wallpaper, are also split exposing the webbing but remain charming. The false title page bears a previous owner's address written in dip pen and ink. Text block edges are somewhat age soiled except for the upper edge, which remains bright gilt. The spine has loosened, a glimpse of webbing may be seen between several sections of the book. In compensation, however, all text is clear, the plates are in beautiful condition, the full-page plates are tissue-guarded, the text is interspersed with Kate Greenaway's pen and ink sketches.