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The book of Knowledge (8 vols)

The book of Knowledge  (8 vols)
The book of Knowledge  (8 vols) The book of Knowledge  (8 vols)

Cover Type: Hardback

Edition: 1st Edition

Illustrated: Yes


 The Waverley Book Company, Limited, London. Buckram Boards. Book Condition: Very Good + to Near Fine. Second Edition. 4to. Undated, but most probably late 1920's-  early 1930s. Pp 4444; top edge blue; profusely illustrated in b/w and colour plates.
Blue hardbacks with gilt titling and designs to spine. All 8 volumes are in very good order .square, tight and clean binding [just a touch of spine bump] and giltwork and clean and bright contents ; no previous names, inscriptions, markings etc. A handsome set which appears to have little usage.
Please contact seller for shipping arrangements:-enquiries@auldbooks.co.uk for further information, images etc. We welcome enquiries by e-mail.
The Book of Knowledge traces its origin back to 1880s England, when writer Arthur Mee was enlisted to write for Sir Alfred Harmsworth’s "Harmsworth Self-Educator", a magazine of facts and instruction on improving one’s life and knowledge. In editing and compiling the varied and flowering knowledge that filled the pages of the Self-Educator, Mee saw value to compiling an educational library for children. In 1908, Mee released The Children’s Encyclopedia.
 Today, an encyclopedia is seen as a alphabetized collection of dry, informational articles that you used to jump-start a grade school research paper. Mee’s Encyclopedia was nothing of the sort. The Children’s Encyclopedia was far more magazine-like in structure, having no categorical or alphabetical organization. Categories could be seen, but no individual volume had more or less of any particular type of information than any other. Grab any single volume, and it contains short stories, how-to articles, poetry,
The Book of Knowledge scientific explanations, moral instruction, and historical narratives. Mee’s intent was to include the basis for an entire education in a few dozen books.

In 1912, Mees’ Children’s Encyclopedia was embraced by the 20-year-old Grolier Society, Inc. Grolier was a subscription-based publisher at that time, selling book series door-to-door and selling editions on a monthly basis. The first major change to the Children’s Encyclopedia was a change of name: Grolier released the American edition as The Book of Knowledge.

The Book of Knowledge lent itself well to being purchased in installments:  each the unstructured volume stands well on its own, broken up into chapters (called ‘books’) such as "The Book of the Earth”, "The Book of Golden Deeds”, "The Book Of Our Own Life”. Each ‘book’ has several chapters, each a separate, stand-alone article. While the books are intended for children, the basic knowledge isn’t dumbed-down to an insulting level.  The books are well-written, readable by The Book of Knowledge children and adults alike, and many articles appear written for children and adults to read together. Mee continued his writing, when not revising his Encyclopedia, by publishing The Children’s Newspaper, a periodical extension of the Encyclopedia that is still available online.
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