Canterbury Clothbound Illustrated Classics
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This series of affordable clothbound children’s classics were originally released in the UK as the Bath Treasury of Children’s Classics, and later distributed in the US as the Canterbury Illustrated Classics series. The books have pretty much an identical design except for the publisher’s logo on the spine and cover, as well as the title page of the books, which all refer to their respective publishers.
The books are a medium format in size (6.25″ x 8.5″), and bound in an attractive brightly colored cloth with foil stamping on the cover. They have a ribbon bookmark matching the cover, contrasting sprayed page edges, and they feature classic illustrations which have sometimes been sensitively colored to make them more attractive to a modern audience.
There were 15 titles released in the Canterbury Illustrated Classics series, and 18 titles in the Bath Treasury of Children’s Classics (for some reason, A Little Princess, Arabian Nights and Pinocchio didn’t make it across the pond).
Some of the titles are still in print, but it appears they are no longer being produced so you may have to source second hand if you’re looking for particular titles.
Canterbury Classics actually produce three main series to entice the budget collector: the Leatherbound Classics, the Illustrated Classics, and their many volumes of flexibound “word cloud” fiction. The leatherbound classics are bound in decorative bonded leather with ribbon bookmarks but are mostly without illustrations, these illustrated classics are bound in brightly colored cloth with contrasting sprayed page edges, and the word cloud editions have the largest variety of titles featuring text-based flexibound cover designs. (Flexibound is an upmarket paperback bound in a type of flexible plastic/vinyl material, that feels rather nicer and more like suede than it sounds from the description.)
List of titles in both the Bath Treasury & Canterbury Classics series
Aesop's Fables by Aesop, selected by J. Emmerson, illustrated by Percy J. Billinghurst
US: 9781684120291 / UK: 9781783739530. Released 2017, 212pp.
100 tales with color illustrations and black-and-white art throughout.
Aesop is credited with many fables that have endured for centuries, relating morals and truth to young and old using animals as the main characters in each story.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by John Tenniel
US: 9781684120369 / UK: 9781783739578. Released 2017, 256pp.
Includes full color classic illustrations throughout.
Follow Alice and the White Rabbit through both classic tales in the magical world of Wonderland.
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, based on illustrations by M. A. & W. A. J. Claus
US: 9781684120383 / UK:9781786900289. Released 2017, 324pp. Full-color illustrations throughout.
Orphan Anne Shirley is sent by mistake to live with the Cuthberts, who wanted a boy to help with their farm on Prince Edward Island. They decide to give Anne a home anyway, and find that she fills their hearts and lives with love and adventure.
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, illustrated by Rachel Clowes
US: 9781684127917, UK: 9781786902153. Released 2019, 228pp. Full color plates and b&w illustrations throughout.
This classic story allows the reader to hear about the adventures of a horse’s life, as told by the horse himself. Anna Sewell’s dependence on horses for transportation gave her keen insights into the lives of animals that most people of her day took for granted, and with Black Beauty, she wove a timeless tale of kindness and compassion for humans and beasts.
Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen, illustrated by Arthur Rackham, W. Heath Robinson and Harry Clarke
US: 9781684120314 / UK: 9781783739554. Released 2017, 260pp.
18 classic fairy tales accompanied by delightful golden age illustrations - 26 full-page color plates and numerous pen and ink images.
Classic tales from "Thumbelina" and "The Princess and the Pea" to "The Little Mermaid" and "The Traveling Companion."
Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson, based on illustrations by John Rhead
US: 9781684127924 / UK: 9781786902160. Released 2019, 264pp.
Full color illustrations throughout.
On the cusp of adulthood and having recently lost his parents, David Balfour is tricked by his uncle into boarding a ship bound for foreign shores. An unfortunate event forges his friendship with Alan Stewart, a Jacobite agent on a mission. Self-defense on the high seas turns to a murder charge on the mainland.
Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie, illustrated by Gwynedd Hudson
US: 9781684120376. UK: 9781786901088. Released 2017, 200pp. Full color illustrations throughout.
J. M. Barrie enjoyed telling stories to the sons of a close family friend, and when his older brother died at age 14 in an ice-skating accident, Barrie was inspired to create the story of Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up.
The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, illustrated by Arthur Rackham
US: 9781684120307 / UK: 9781783739547. Released 2017, 256pp.
35 classic fairy tales. Color plates and b&w illustrations throughout.
Includes classics such as "The Frog Prince" and "Beauty and the Beast" as well as lesser-known works like "Cat and Mouse in Partnership."
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
US: 9781684120321 / UK: 9781783739561. Released 2017, 188pp.
Color plates by uncredited illustrators (based on classic illustrations) & classic b&w illustrations throughout.
Nobel Laureate Rudyard Kipling drew on his experiences growing up in British India to write this collection of fables, including the stories of Mowgli, who was raised by wolves in the jungle, and Rikki Tikki Tavi, a wild mongoose that devoted himself to a human family.
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, illustrated by Walter Stanley Paget and Tom Sperling
US: 9781684127931/ UK: 9781786907226. Released 2019, 352 pp.
Color illustrations throughout.
Pirates, shipwrecks, and being stranded on an island doesn’t stop Robinson Crusoe in his quest for adventure on the high seas.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, illustrated by Kelly Caswell
US: 9781684120345 / UK: 9781786901071. Released 2017, 256pp.
Color plates and b&w spot illustrations throughout.
The story of Mary Lennox’s rejuvenation in the English countryside, centring around themes of friendship, kindness, and self-discovery.
The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss, based on illustrations by Johann Emmanuel Wyss
US: 9781684127948 / UK: 9781786902214. Released 2019, 384pp.
Abandoned by crew and passengers, then shipwrecked in the East Indies on their way to Australia, the Swiss Family Robinson gathers their resources and builds a life over a period of ten years living on a deserted island.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, illustrated by William Wallace Denslow and Cherie Zamazing
US: 9781684120352 / UK: 9781786901095. Released 2017, 179pp.
Includes both the original artwork and new color illustrations.
Join Dorothy, Toto, the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion as they embark on an adventure in the magical land of Oz. As the unlikely friends work together to defeat the Wicked Witch of the West, Dorothy can't help but wonder if she will ever make it home to Kansas.
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Arthur Rackham
US: 9781684120338 / UK: 9781783739585. Released 2017, 200pp.
The adventures of Mole, Ratty, Toad, and Badger of Wild Wood, as they romp through the English countryside, getting in and out of trouble.
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrated by Tom Sperling
US: 9781684127955 / UK: 9781786902221. Released 2019, 240pp.
Color plates and b&w illustrations throughout.
Captain Billy Bones arrives at an innkeeper’s lodge and tells young Jim Hawkins to keep a weather eye open for a one-legged seafaring man. But after several nefarious fellows show up, Jim is left with the map to buried treasure.
Additional titles only available in the Bath Treasury series
Additional titles only available in the Bath Treasury series
Arabian Nights by Richard Burton, illustrated by Alida Massari
UK: 9781786902146. Released 2019, 264pp.
Color plates with b&w illustrations throughout.
A collection of the best known of the stories, and one or two less familiar tales, combined with some of the earliest line art illustrations by renowned artists such as George Soper, Rene Bull, John Betten and H. J. Ford, along with enchanting new coloured illustrations by Alida Massari.
Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, illustrated by Alice Carsey and Jon Davis
UK: 9781786902191. Released 2017, 324pp. Color illustrations Alice Carsey and b&w illustrations by Jon Davis.
When a piece of pine-wood falls into the hands of the poor old toymaker Geppetto, he carves it into a puppet which he names Pinocchio. To Geppetto's delight, Pinocchio comes to life - and like most little boys, he's full of reckless whims and wild ideas.