Peter Lunn: children’s publisher, by Peter Main. 2010. 208p., illustrated. Casebound.
£32 (plus £4 postage and packing in the UK)
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The children’s publishing house of Peter Lunn was a short-lived but ambitious venture set up in London by the German émigré David Gottlieb during World War II. Between 1943 and 1948, under difficult war-time conditions, it published nearly 120 illustrated children’s books, many of which stand out as fine examples of writing and illustrative design. These include many examples of the earliest work of artists who later went on to enjoy distinguished careers, such as Robin Jacques and R. A. Brandt.
The author has been a collector of children’s books for many years and he provides for the first time a history of the publisher, full descriptive bibliographical entries for all the books published, and biographical sketches of their authors and illustrators. He also includes reproductions in full colour of many dustjackets from the Peter Lunn books in his own collection.
This book will appeal equally to collectors of children’s books, librarians, and those interested in the histories of publishing or of book illustration.
What the reviewers said
'This illustrated bibliography .... is well produced and organised. A very enjoyable browsing experience as well as being a useful source of information about publishing and children’s literature.' Sheila Ray, Library Review.
'A careful bibliography with inquisitive biographies of authors and illustrators.' The Book Collector.
'This book by Peter Main fills a long-felt gap and he is to be congratulated for having assembled so much information on such a fugitive publisher. … This is a book to be welcomed by any collector of the illustrated books of the mid-20th century. It is encouraging to see a small press venturing into the field of bibliography and making such a good job of it.' Studies in Illustration.
'My own sporadic efforts to proceed with some kind of bibliography [of Peter Lunn books] are entirely eclipsed by the diligently compiled records which are found here.' Brian Alderson, Children's Book History Society Newsletter.