A Reader’s Delight – Jigsaw Puzzle

I don’t do jigsaw puzzles very often these days, but I do enjoy them and thought I would share with you one that I completed recently. It’s called A Reader’s Delight and the picture shows vintage children’s books from the Bodleian Library collection.

While I was working on the jigsaw, I found some of the titles of the books quite amusing and others quite sexist (but very much of their time; none of these are modern books).

For the boys we have Every Boy His Own Mechanic by Bernard E. Jones, The Boy’s Handy Book by D.C Beard and The Monster Book for Boys, while the books for girls include An Incorrigible Girl by M.H. Cornwall Legh (published by the Religious Tract Society in 1899 apparently), A Very Naughty Girl by L.T. Meade and A Wilful Girl by Helen Griffith. On the other hand, we do have The Adventure Book for Girls and Eight Girls and their Adventures…and I was particularly intrigued by Things Worth Doing and How to Do Them by L. and A.B. Beard. I’ve discovered that it’s available on Project Gutenberg – a collection of crafts and other activities aimed at girls.

There are lots of school stories here as well – Bunty of Dormitory B, The Jolliest Term on Record, The Abbey Girls Go Back to School. The ones for boys seem to concentrate on sport – Playing the Game: A Public School Story by Kent Carr, Not Cricket: A School Story by Harold Avery, For School and Country by Ralph Simmonds.

Have you read or heard of any of these books? I wonder what children would think of them today!

18 thoughts on “A Reader’s Delight – Jigsaw Puzzle

    • Helen says:

      I’m not sure whether I ever read anything by Oxenham or Brazil, although I could have done as I did used to read a lot of old school stories. They were obviously very dated even then, but I can’t imagine today’s kids being very interested!

  1. Cyberkitten says:

    Things have changed a LOT since their publication date(s). I wonder what children or their parents(!) would think of books aimed at these age ranges and genders today? [lol] I think a bottle of smelling salts would come in very handy that day! It is one of the joys of reading books from earlier times though – how sedate and cosy it often seems looking backwards.

  2. Margaret says:

    I enjoy doing jigsws too. I haven’t read any of the books you listed, but I do have Not Out! A Story of School Life by Kent Carr, Author of Playing the Game etc. It belonged to my father, presented to him in 1927, 1st Prize for Attendance at Sunday School. I did read it as a child, fascinated by the story about school that was so very different from my schooldays. I also have a few Annuals that belonged to both my mum and dad from around that time. I’m wondering about writing a post about these old books.

    • Helen says:

      I read quite a lot of books as a child that were very dated, some passed down from older family members, and like you, I found it fascinating to read about a way of life so different from my own. I would love to read that post, if you decide to write it!

  3. piningforthewest says:

    What a lovely puzzle. I have The Jolliest Term on Record and some Abbey School books, also some religious tract books, always Sunday School prizes from the 1900s, but some have lovely covers.

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