The Book of the Queen’s Dolls’ House by Lawrence Weaver

The Book of the Queen’s Dolls’ House by Lawrence Weaver, A.C. Benson, and E. V. Lucas. The one I read had the note: “This edition is limited to 1,500 copies of which this is no. 322.” This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Dolls’ House and I saw it in our visit to Windsor. I was fascinated and bought 2 books about it, one with details of the house and the second one with details of its library. As this 1924 book was mentioned and it was also available at Bodleian without having to wait for it to be delivered, I thought I will read it. I’m very glad I did because it was so interesting.

The Book of the Queen's Dolls' House by Lawrence Weaver

Unlike the 2024 books, the 100 year old one is more enticing. From the beginning it was the idea that this can become a historical document on its own. Besides that, the 1924 book is funnier and descriptive. It has lots of prints included as well, from pictures of the house to facsimiles of watercolours, details on sizes, architectural plans of all the floors. Some of the items were pictured on different objects. For example the bed was placed on a chair, to make it obvious how small it was. There are technical details on how the lifts work, for example the steel ropes were made out of sturdy and long-lasting fishing line. The coffee grinder works despite being under an inch.

The descriptions are beautifully from a literary point of view as well. I will end with a quote from the book, which marks both the beauty of the narrative and the idea behind it, to commemorate Queen’s Mary devotion to helping the soldiers during WWI:
‘On either side of the fireplace a toy cupboard towers. Let us open the doors and at random pick out some of the treasures. Here are truculent tin soldiers – so tiny that a ladybird could push them – push them, but never pull them: they are all for the front!’

The Book of the Queen’s Dolls’ House by Lawrence Weaver

Details about the picture: pictured in Bodleian Library
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes (if available)
Published by: Methuen
Year it was published: 1924
Format: Hardcover
Genre(s): Book on a museum piece
Pages: 244

About the author: Sir Lawrence Walter William Weaver was born in 1876 and died in 1930. He was an English architectural writer and civil servant. In 1924 he organised the British pavilions at the British Empire Exhibition.
Arthur Christopher Benson was born in 1862 and died in 1925. He was an English essayist and poet. He was also the 28th Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge. He wrote the lyrics of Edward Elgar’s Coronation Ode, including the words of the patriotic song “Land of Hope and Glory” in 1902. His literary criticism, poems, and volumes of essays were highly regarded. He was also noted as an author of ghost stories.
E. V. Lucas was born in 1868 and died in 1938. He was an English humorist, essayist, playwright, biographer, publisher, poet, novelist, short story writer, and editor. Born to a Quaker family in Eltham, on the fringes of London, Lucas began work at the age of sixteen, apprenticed to a bookseller.
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2 thoughts on “The Book of the Queen’s Dolls’ House by Lawrence Weaver”

  • How fun that you got to read a century old limited edition! I’m sure it enhanced your pleasure of learning about the doll’s house.
    Kelly recently posted…GalaxyMy Profile

    • It was very special that it was so old. The best part was to compare this one to the new ones. The old one was clearly better.

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