Each hardback is covered in blue cloth with gold gilt writing on the spine. Front boards and spine have a black line illustration. Each volume is in very good condition with very little shelfwear. Inside each volume is tidy with no markings. Each volume is interspersed with colour & black white illustrations. Excellent encyclopedia set for children. Will be sent via courier as these items are very heavy.
Published by Educational Book company, circa 1950.
The encyclopædia was originally published in fortnightly parts between March 1908 and February 1910. Some readers could have bound their collections, but the first eight-volume sets were published in 1910. Each section contained a variety of articles, developing topics as it progressed. The work could be used as a conventional reference library, as the last volume had an alphabetical index, or each section could be read from start to finish. It was originally organised into sections but there were changes in subsequent editions. Some titles covered scientific subjects such as geology, biology and astronomy but such scientific terms were generally avoided.
Familiar Things, by "many writers"
Wonder, by the Wise Man
Nature, by Ernest Bryant and Edward Step
The Child’s Own Life, by Dr. Caleb Saleeby
The Earth, by Dr. Caleb Saleeby
All Countries, by Frances Epps
Great Lives, by "many writers"
Golden Deeds, by "many writers"
Bible Stories, by Harold Begbie
Famous Books, by John Hammerton
Stories, by Edward Wright
Poetry, by John Hammerton
"School Lessons", by several writers, including Lois Mee, Arthur's sister
Things To Make and Things To Do, by "many writers"
Mee wrote an introduction called a "Greeting" and a "farewell". He took a strong interest in the "Book of Wonder", in which the Wise Man answered questions posed by children.
The illustrations were mostly anonymous but some illustrators included Susan Beatrice Pearse, C. E. Brock, Thomas Maybank, George F. Morrell, Dudley Heath, Charles Folkard, H. R. Millar, Alexander Francis Lydon, Arthur A. Dixon and Arthur Rackham. The books used photographs by Frank Hinkins, engravings, maps and graphics.
The encyclopædia broke ground in the approach to education, aiming to make learning interesting and enjoyable. Its articles were clearly written and intended to develop character and sense of duty.
The article expressed pride for Great Britain and its empire. Christianity was held to be the only true religion. Europeans were clearly the most advanced and there were hints of the eugenic ideas of Caleb Saleeby. This was presented in a moderate and liberal way in many areas: other "races", although inferior according to the text, were to be treated with respect, and imperialism was justified only if it improved the lot of its subjects. At a time when the relation between science and religion was controversial, the encyclopædia supported evolution, but it did not admit any contradiction between religious teachings and Darwin's views.