This adventure story about whaling is the first of many books for boys written by William Kingston, published in 1851. A rollicking tale, full of action and excitement, it was so popular that the author gave up his life in business and devoted himself to writing more tales for boys, eventually publishing 130 titles.
William Kingston (1814-1880), spent much of his youth in Portugal, later following his merchant father into the family business and setting up his HQ in London. The success of 'Peter the Whaler' prompted his retirement from business, and he spent the rest of his life writing books for boys, many about the sea (he was a knowledgeable sailor), supporting various good causes, and editing several publications.
Our copy, evidently presented as a school prize in 1937, is fairly unusual, being bound in red cloth with a Talwin Morris design in black to the front cover and spine. Talwin Morris was a prolific book designer and decorative artist of the late 19th/early 20th centuries, particularly known for his Glasgow Style furniture, metalwork, and book designs. The book is in good condition, the spine and covers slightly sun-faded but otherwise clean, and with minimal signs of shelf wear. The binding is firm, and the pages clean and bright, the print very dense on the page. There are no illustrations apart from a coloured frontispiece depicting a man shooting at a rather resigned-looking polar bear.