Dent Dutton Children’s Illustrated Classics

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Collecting Dent Dutton Children's Illustrated Classics

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The Dent Dutton’s Children’s Illustrated Classics (CIC) collection was published in the UK by J. M. Dent & Sons, and in the US by E. P Dutton & Co between the late 1940s and the late 1970s. Before the recent surge in popularity of the Penguin Clothbound Classics series, these Dent Dutton children’s classics books were typically the ones highly sought after by collectors for their quality, range, affordability, and the beauty of their brightly patterned cloth covers on the shelf.

dent dutton shelf hestia header
A rainbow of decoratively patterned Dent Dutton spines, style changing slightly over the years


How are the books bound?

Most of the books are bound in “Sundour cloth” (Morton Sundour was a British textile maker), each featuring a different repetitive single-coloured design for the binding and endpapers, designed by Alexander H. Williamson. These binding designs are so charming that is it one of the rare series where the presence of a dust jacket typically has minimal influence on pricing, because most people display them without the dust jackets. Around about 1972, these designed covers were replaced with a plain coloured cloth cover with the title in a gold box. A 1971 edition of Poe’s Tales of Terror and Fantasy (#91) is the latest book I’ve sighted with the decorative cloth.

What are the books like on the inside?

Each volume has four or more colour plates and drawings in the text by noted artists. The typography is thoughtful, and the books are a comfortable size for reading. One quirk is the sizing – some are 8″ by 5⅝”, and others are slightly taller at 8¾” by 5⅝”, which can be a bit irritating if you like your shelves uniform! They are pretty robust (sewn binding, etc), but the cloth can get grubby with rough handling by small children – which is common for many volumes given their age and attractive design.

Shelf Appeal

The repetitive design makes these books look beautiful without dust jackets, and they can be displayed spine or face out with equal effect. Although displays like the one below are truly impressive, you don’t need to feel like you have to “collect them all” – a small stack of these vintage pretties is also really effective in a shelf.

dent dutton shelf from pinterest
A pretty Dent Dutton collection shared by Emma - Bookstagrammer 🇬🇧 on Instagram

List of books

CoverAuthorTitleWhere to BuyIllustratorNumberDateSize
dent dutton treasure island stevensonRobert Louis StevensonTreasure IslandAbes | eBayS. Van Abbe119488" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton little women alcottLouisa M. AlcottLittle WomenAbes | eBayS. Van Abbe219488" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton tom browns schooldays hughesThomas HughesTom Brown's SchooldaysAbes | eBayS. Van Abbe319498" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton the princess and the goblin macdonaldGeorge MacDonaldThe Princess And The GoblinAbes | eBayCharles Folkard419498" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton princess and curdie macdonaldGeorge MacDonaldThe Princess And CurdieAbes | eBayCharles Folkard519498" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton coral island ballantyneR. M. BallantyneThe Coral IslandAbes | eBayLeo Bates619498" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton robin hood omanCarola OmanRobin HoodAbes | eBayS. Van Abbe719498" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton swiss family robinson wyssJ. R. WyssThe Swiss Family RobinsonAbes | eBayCharles Folkard819498" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton grimms fairy talesBrothers GrimmGrimms' Fairy TalesAbes | eBayCharles Folkard919498" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton tanglewood tales hawthorneNathaniel HawthorneTanglewood TalesAbes | eBayS. Van Abbe1019508" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton wonder book hawthorneNathaniel HawthorneA Wonder BookAbes | eBayS. Van Abbe1119508" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton black beauty sewellAnna SewellBlack BeautyAbes | eBayLucy Kemp-Welch1219508" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton heidi spyriJohanna SpyriHeidiAbes | eBayVincent O. Cohen1319508" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton wonderful adventures of nils lagerlofSelma LagerlöfThe Wonderful Adventures Of Nils [not made available in the US]Abes | eBayHans Baumhauer1419508" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton arabian nightsAnonFairy Tales From The Arabian NightsAbes | eBayJoan Kiddell-Monroe1519518" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton pinocchio collodiCarlo CollodiPinocchio, The Tale Of A PuppetAbes | eBayCharles Folkard1619518" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton fairy tales of long agoM. C. Carey (Ed)Fairy Tales Of Long AgoAbes | eBayD. J. Watkins-Pitchford1719528" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton gullivers travels swiftJonathan SwiftGulliver's Travels [3 of 4 journeys]Abes | eBayArthur Rackham1819528" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton good wives alcottLouisa M. AlcottGood WivesAbes | eBayS. Van Abbe1919538" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton further adventures of nils lagerloffSelma LagerlofThe Further Adventures Of Nils [not made available in the US]Abes | eBayHans Baumhauer2019538¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton hans andersen fairy talesHans Christian AndersenHans Andersen's Fairy TalesAbes | eBayHans Baumhauer2119538" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton lorna doone blackmoreR. D. BlackmoreLorna DooneAbes | eBayLionel Edwards2219518¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton king arthur and the round table hadfieldA. M. HadfieldKing Arthur And The Round TableAbes | eBayDonald Seton Cammell2319538¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton don quixote cervantesMiguel De CervantesDon Quixote [abridged]Abes | eBayW. Heath Robinson2419538¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton the brownies ewingMrs EwingThe Brownies And Other StoriesAbes | eBayE. H. Shepard2519548" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton robinson crusoe defoe SMDaniel DefoeRobinson Crusoe [slightly abridged]Abes | eBayJ. Ayton-Symington2619548" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton cuckoo clock molesworthMrs MolesworthThe Cuckoo ClockAbes | eBayE. H. Shepard2719548" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton prilgrims progress bunyanJohn BunyanThe Pilgrim's ProgressAbes | eBayFrank C. Pape2819548" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton alice in wonderland carrollLewis CarrollAlice's Adventures in Wonderland AND Through the Looking GlassAbes | eBayJohn Tenniel2919548¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton tom sawyer twainMark TwainTom SawyerAbes | eBayC Walter Hodges3019558" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton huck finn twainMark TwainHuckleberry FinnAbes | eBayC Walter Hodges3119558" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton hans brinker dodgeMary Mapes DodgeHans BrinkerAbes | eBayHans Baumhauer3319558" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton children of the new forest marryatCaptain MarryatThe Children Of The New ForestAbes | eBayLionel Edwards3319558¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton modern fairy stories greenRoger Lancelyn Green (Ed.)Modern Fairy StoriesAbes | eBayE. H. Shepard3419558¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton book of nonsenseRoger Lancelyn Green (Ed.)The Book Of NonsenseAbes | eBayCharles Folkard3519568¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton at the back of the north wind macdonaldGeorge MacdonaldAt the Back of the North WindAbes | eBayE. H. Shepard3619568¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton the water babies kingsleyCharles KingsleyThe Water BabiesAbes | eBayRosalie K. Fry3719578" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton little men alcottLouisa M. AlcottLittle MenAbes | eBayHarry Toothill3819578¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton tales from shakespeare lamb SMCharles and Mary LambTales From ShakespeareAbes | eBayArthur Rackham3919578¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton black arrow stevensonRobert Louis StevensonThe Black ArrowAbes | eBayLionel Edwards4019578" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton nursery rhymesA. H. WatsonNursery RhymesAbes | eBayA. H. Watson4119588¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton rose ring thackerayW. M. Thackeray, Charles DickensThe Rose And The Ring & The Magic Fish-BoneAbes | eBayW. M. Thackeray (Rose and the Ring) & Paul Hogarth (Magic Fish-Bone)4219598" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton william wolf hampdenJohn HampdenSir William and the Wolf, and other stories from the days of chivalryAbes | eBayEric Fraser4319608¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton jos boys alcottLouisa M. AlcottJo's BoysAbes | eBayHarry Toothill4419608¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton kidnapped stevensonRobert Louis StevensonKidnappedAbes | eBayG. Oakley4519608" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton song of hiawatha longfellowH. W. LongfellowThe Song Of HiawathaAbes | eBayJoan Kiddell-Monroe4619608¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton a childs garden of verses stevensonRobert Louis StevensonA Child's Garden Of VersesAbes | eBayMary Shillabeer4719608" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton tales of make believeRoger Lancelyn Green (Ed.)Tales Of Make-BelieveAbes | eBayHarry Toothill4819608¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton aesops fablesJohn WarringtonAesop's FablesAbes | eBayJoan Kiddell-Monroe4919618¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton prince prigio langAndrew LangPince Prigio AND Prince RicardoAbes | eBayD. J. Watkins-Pitchford5019618" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton book of verse for childrenRoger Lancelyn Green (Ed.)The Book Of Verse For Children [not made available in the US]Abes | eBayMary Shillabeer5119628¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton prisoner of zenda hopeAnthony HopeThe Prisoner Of ZendaAbes | eBayMichael Godfrey 5219628¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton adventures of odysseus langAndrew LangThe Adventures Of OdysseusAbes | eBayJoan Kiddell-Monroe5319628¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton little lord fauntleroy burnettFrances Hodgson BurnettLittle Lord FauntleroyAbes | eBayHarry Toothill5419628¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton grannys wonderful chair browneFrances BrowneGranny's Wonderful ChairAbes | eBayD. J. Watkins-Pitchford551963
dent dutton little duke yongeCharlotte M. YongeThe Little DukeAbes | eBayMichael Godfrey 561963
dent dutton rupert of hentzau hopeAnthony HopeRupert of HentzauAbes | eBayMichael Godfrey 5719638¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton heroes kingsleyCharles KingsleyThe HeroesAbes | eBayJoan Kiddell-Monroe581963
dent dutton christmas carol dickensCharles DickensA Christmas Carol AND The Cricket on the HearthAbes | eBayC. E. Brock5919638¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton king solomons mines haggardH. Rider HaggardKing Solomon's MinesAbes | eBayA. R. Whitear601963
dent dutton enchanted castle nesbitEdith NesbitThe Enchanted CastleAbes | eBayCecil Leslie6119648¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton mopsa the fairy ingelowJean IngelowMopsa the FairyAbes | eBayDora Curtis621964
dent dutton lob lie by the fire ewingMrs EwingLob Lie-by-the-Fire AND The Story of a Short LifeAbes | eBayR Caldecott and H. M. Brock6319648¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton 39 steps buchanJohn BuchanThe Thirty-nine StepsAbes | eBayEdward Ardizzone641964
dent dutton carved lions molesworthMrs MolesworthThe Carved LionsAbes | eBayLewis Hart651964
dent dutton book of myths greenRoger Lancelyn Green (Ed.)A Book of MythsAbes | eBayJoan Kiddell-Monroe661965
dent dutton trail of the sandhill stag seton SMErnest Thompson SetonThe Trail of the Sandhill Stag and other lives of the HuntedAbes | eBayErnest Thompson Seton & Rita Parsons671965
dent dutton wonderful wizard of oz baumL. Frank BaumThe Wonderful Wizard of OzAbes | eBayVal Biro681965
dent dutton lost princess macdonaldGeorge MacDonaldThe Lost PrincessAbes | eBayD. J. Watkins-Pitchford691965
dent dutton dog crusoe ballantyneR. M. BallantyneThe Dog CrusoeAbes | eBayVictor Ambrus701966
dent dutton 20000 leagues verneJules VerneTwenty Thousand Leagues Under the SeaAbes | eBayWilliam McLaren7119668¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton ten tales of detection greenRoger Lancelyn Green (Ed.)Ten Tales of DetectionAbes | eBayIan Ribbons7219678¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton white fang londonJack LondonWhite FangAbes | eBayCharles Pickard7319678¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
webster daddy long legs dent dutton smJean WebsterDaddy-Long-LegsAbes | eBayHarry Fairburn7419678¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton happy prince wildeOscar WildeThe Happy Prince and other StoriesAbes | eBayPeggy Fortnum751967
dent dutton house of arden nesbitEdith NesbitThe House of ArdenAbes | eBayClarke Hutton761967
london call of the wild dent duttonJack LondonThe Call of the WildAbes | eBayCharles Pickard771968
dent dutton marvellous land of oz baumL. Frank BaumThe Marvellous Land of OzAbes | eBayVal Biro781968
dent dutton tale of ancient israel greenRoger Lancelyn Green (Ed.)The Tale of Ancient IsraelAbes | eBayCharles Keeping791968
dent dutton prince and the pauper twain LGMark TwainThe Prince and the PauperAbes | eBayRobert Hodgson801968
dent dutton what katy did coolidgeSusan CoolidgeWhat Katy DidAbes | eBayMargery Gill811968
dent dutton around the world in 80 days verneJules VerneAround the World in Eighty DaysAbes | eBayW. F. Phillips8219688¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton riddle of the sands childers SMErskine ChildersThe Riddle of the SandsAbes | eBayCharles Mozley83
dent dutton journey to the centre of the earth DJJules VerneJourney to the Centre of the EarthAbes | eBayW. F. Phillips8419708¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton thirteen uncanny tales green SMRoger Lancelyn Green (Ed.)Thirteen Uncanny TalesAbes | eBayRay Ogden8519708¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton baron munchausen raspe SMR. E. RaspeBaron Munchausen and other comic tales from GermanyAbes | eBayUlrik Schramm861970
dent dutton around the moonJules VerneAround the MoonAbes | eBayW. F. Phillips871970
verne from the earth to the moon dent duttonJules VerneFrom the Earth to the MoonAbes | eBayW. F. Phillips8819708" by 5⅝" (small demy)
dent dutton barlasch of the guard merrimanHenry Seton MerrimanBarlasch of the GuardAbes | eBayPhilip Gough 891971
crane red badge of courage dent duttonStephen CraneThe Red Badge of CourageAbes | eBayCharles Mozley901971
poe tales terror fantasy dent duttonEdgar Allan PoeTales of Terror and FantasyAbes | eBayArthur Rackham911971
dent dutton king of the grizzlies seton DJErnest Thompson SetonKing of the GrizzliesAbes | eBayMirko Hanák921972
dent dutton ten tales of adventure green DJRoger Lancelyn Green (Ed.)Ten Tales of AdventureAbes | eBayPhilip Gough 9319728¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton railway children nestbit DJEdith NesbitThe Railway ChlidrenAbes | eBayCharles Mozley9419758¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton hero legends of the world baumann DJHans BaumannHero Legends of the WorldAbes | eBayHerbert Holzing951975
dent dutton five sons of king pandu seeger DJElizabeth SeegerThe Five Sons of King PanduAbes | eBayGordon Laite9619708¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton strange adventures in time green DJRoger Lancelyn Green (Ed.)Strange Adventures in TimeAbes | eBayGeorge Adamson9719748¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton ramayana seeger DJElizabeth SeegerThe RamayanaAbes | eBayGordon Laite9819758¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton scottish fairy tales pike DJMargaret Lyford-PikeScottish Fairy TalesAbes | eBayJane Susa Evans9919748¾" by 5⅝" (Demy 8vo)
dent dutton italian folk tales calvino DJItalo CalvinoItalian Folk TalesAbes | eBayEmanuele Luzzati1001975
Beautiful Books