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Durable Trifles

Peter Cope

Independent Scholar

   Starting before the advent of rag books, I plan to review how and why the Victorians felt the need to perfect the untearable book for infants and young children, looking at early paper-making techniques and cultural reasons for the demand.
    I intend to use mainly the publications of Dean & Son as examples.   I want to explore popular Victorian subject matter and its use on rag books in the early twentieth century.  Through the Dean's Rag Book Company I plan to demonstrate the strong ephemeral associations enshrined in rag books and the reasons why Dean's commissioned artists whose work is most commonly found on postcards, greetings cards, popular annuals and advertising of children's products.  I want to share with my audience some of the best examples of art applied to rag books which compare favourably with best examples of artwork applied to any printed textiles, and outline printing techniques.

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