The Treasures of Childhood: Books, Toys, and Games from the Opie Collection

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9781857936247: The Treasures of Childhood: Books, Toys, and Games from the Opie Collection

This survey covers virtually every aspect of childhood and every type of book, toy, game and diversion. Over a period of 40 years, Iona and Peter Opie assembled a collection of 20,000 rare children's books, comics and other printed material. The Opie's also have a substantial collection of toys and games, most of them in mint condition and often still in their original packaging. Text on the early children's books, the classic Victorian illustrated books and the magazines and comics is provided by Brian Alderson, while Peter Opie's widow, Iona, and their son, Robert, examine the non-book items via themes. Iona Opie, together with her late husband, has published such books on children's literature as "The Oxford Dictionary of Nursey Rhymes" and "The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren".

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From Publishers Weekly:

This stately catalogue offers an enchanting view of the children's books and playthings amassed over 40 years by Iona and the late Peter Opie ( The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren ), well known for their seminal researches into children's folklore. Coauthored with Alderson, the Opies' son, a collector in his own right, and Alderson, London Times children's book editor, the volume surveys the field, from the early 17th century--painfully moralistic "drab little books"--to glories of the mid-19th century (Edward Lear's madcap A Book of Nonsense and Heinrich Hoffmann's alarming Struwwelpeter ) to modern works (Maurice Sendak's Lullabies and Night Songs ). The trinkets include yo-yos (large and luminous) dating to "the craze of 1789" and luxe dolls' houses in which the cupboard has probably never been bare. Fastidiously designed and crisply narrated, the steadfastly informative book carefully avoids nostalgia-mongering, and is bound to spur the general reader's curiosity.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

While writing the Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (1951) and their many other studies of children's folklore and literature, Iona and Peter Opie amassed a collection of 20,000 children's books, as well as vast numbers of more ephemeral printed works and a variety of toys and games. After the death of Peter Opie in 1982, much of the collection was transferred to the Bodleian. This handsomely printed book describes not only the books and toys themselves but also how the collection came to be and the role it played in the Opies' daily lives. The book concentrates on 18th- and 19th-century children's books, with hundreds of immaculate copies of rare publications. Coverage of toys is briefer, limited primarily to examples of specific types. This is an important book for larger public libraries and for all collections on children's literature, toys, and publishing.
- Frederick A. Schlipf, Urbana Free Lib. & GSLIS, Univ. of Illinois
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Pavilion Books, Limited, London, United Kingdom, 1995. Card Covers. Book Condition: Near Fine, Remainder Mark. Dust Jacket Condition: None. 192 pages, superbly illustrated, almost wholly in colour. Extraordinary 'social history' of childhood, presented through the Opies' unrivalled library of 20,000 children's books, and their unique collection of toys and games from past centuries. Bibliography. Size: 12" x 9 7/8". Bookseller Inventory # 001506

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