English Fairy Tales.

By Ernest & Grace Rhys

Printed: 1949

Publisher: J M Dent & Sons. London

Dimensions 14 × 19 × 2 cm

Language: English

Size (cminches): 14 x 19 x 2

Condition: Very good  (See explanation of ratings)

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Item information


Green cloth binding with gilt title on the spine and two figures on the front board.

F.B.A. provides an in-depth photographic presentation of this item to stimulate your feel and touch. More traditional book descriptions are immediately available.

An edition from a children’s series

Cole, Matthew and R. Anning Bell (illustrator). 128 pages, 8 coloured plates by Herbert Cole and R. Anning Bell. Blue pictorial front board with gilt print and design. The plate on the front cover lightly rubbed, else a clean, unmarked and solid copy

Ernest Percival Rhys17 July 1859 – 25 May 1946, was a Welsh-English writer, best known for his role as founding editor of the Everyman’s Library series of affordable classics. He wrote essays, stories, poetry, novels, and plays. Rhys was born in Islington in north London, the son of John Rees (his spelling) and his English wife Emma Percival of Hockerill. Shortly afterwards his father set up in the wine and spirits trade, working for Walter Gilbey in premises in Nott Square, Carmarthen, where before marriage he had been in training for the ministry. The family was in Carmarthen for a number of years and had a Welsh-speaking maid. In 1865 John Rees was transferred to another Gilbey shop, in Newcastle upon Tyne.

After home education with a governess, Rhys spent two years at Bishop’s Stortford Grammar School as a boarder, leaving in poor health. He then attended a Newcastle school run by a German master, acquiring some German and French. He then spent a desultory period working in his father’s office. In 1876 he took up an apprenticeship as a mining engineer, or “coal viewer”. Against the wishes of his father, Rhys did not apply to the University of Oxford.

Rhys worked through his apprenticeship in the Durham coalfield. He passed his mining engineer examination. At this period, he lived in a pit village in Lower Weardale, and wrote extensively, poetry and prose, without being published. He set up a library, a book group and a programme of lectures. He described the miners’ life in his story collection Black Horse Pit (1925).

On his own account, Rhys owed his first literary commission, and his interest in poetry, to Joseph Skipsey, whom he knew in Newcastle in the early 1880s. He was employed by the Walter Scott Publishing Co. of Newcastle. Initially he edited the works of George Herbert for its Canterbury Poets series. After that he was employed doing editorial work on its Camelot Series, of reprints and translations. Rhys later wrote that the approach was based on the mistaken idea that he was the academic John Rhys.

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