University of London Press, 1951.
Hardback; 140 x 200 mm; red boards with faded gold titles on spine and a picture of a sailing ship in bright gold on the front cover; 255 pages; top edge painting in red. Original price-clipped dust jacket.
Illustrations by Steven Spurrier, ARA. Pictorial endpapers in red line drawing. Frontispiece in colour, remaining 8 illustrations in monochrome.
The book itself is in good condition but the dust jacket is worn around its edges with chips and tears, and small pieces missing. Internally the jacket is tanned, particularly the spine, and with a few small spots of foxing. The binding of the book is sound and tight. On the verso of the front free endpaper is a presentation label “Made for Ever. Presented to Wendy Brain. First Prize. Jan 1956”.
Elizabeth Goudge (1900 – 1984) was an English author of novels, short stories, and children's books. She won the Carnegie Medal for British children's books in 1946 for The Little White Horse, an influence on J K Rowling’s Harry Potter. She was a best-selling author in both the UK and the US from the 1930s through the 1970s. Steven Spurrier RA (1878 – 1961) was a British artist and painter.
The Valley of Song is a story about the building of a beautiful ship launched at the ship-building town upon the river where Tabitha, the heroine of the book, lives. Interwoven with the story of the ship is the story of her adventures when she goes through a little door in a disused quarry to another country. She rallies her community in obtaining materials to finish construction of the ship that, due to lack of funds, is slated to be destroyed.
This charming and delightful tale will appeal to all those with an interest in well-written children’s fiction of the early 1950s. The illustrations are equally delightful.