Saturday, January 30, 2010

Princess Stories: A Classic Illustrated Edition by Cooper Edens

Bargain book alert: Princess Stories: A Classic Illustrated Edition by Cooper Edens is temporarily bargain priced at $8.00 on, 60% off list price. There are 4 copies left in stock and the price may change after they are sold. These bargains never last long.

I already own the book and it is another fine entry in the series of stories with classic illustrations (usually Golden Age illustrators) by Cooper Edens.

Product description from the publisher:

The classic tales in this lavishly illustrated collection have enchanted generations of readers. Here, among others, is the fair Snow White, Rapunzel with her golden tresses, and the princess so delicate that even just a small pea hidden under 20 mattresses keeps her awake at night. The stories are paired with magnificent artwork by some of the most renowned children's book illustrators of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. From Arthur Rackham to Millicent Sowerby to Kay Nielsen, each brought a unique artistic vision to these timeless tales. This beautifully designed edition is equally at home on a child's bedside table as it is on a collector's bookshelf.

And my original review from when it was released:

In 1991, Cooper Edens published "The Three Princesses: The Ultimate Illustrated Edition," a book containing three princess fairy tales (Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty) with 172 illustrations from the Golden Age of illustration. The book has since gone out of print and has become popular among collectors with some editions selling for well over $100 in the used book market.

Now Edens has produced a similar book, "Princess Stories," which may become just as sought after by collectors in the years to come. This time he includes eight tales, including Cinderella, The Frog Prince, The Little Mermaid, The Princess and the Pea, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Beauty and the Beast. Edens has included over 150 illustrations to accompany the tales by such masters as Kay Nielsen, Walter Crane, Edmund Dulac, Charles Robinson, W. Heath Robinson, Honor Appleton, Jesse Wilcox Smith, and Arthur Rackham. More obscure and anonymous illustrations by these illustrators' contemporaries are also included. Thus results a feast of fairy tale illustrations in color and black and white for all ages.

The hardcover book is printed on fine paper and new illustrations appear with every turn of the page. Readers will enjoy comparing the different visions by the illustrators of the same tales. The texts are also rich and reflect earlier versions of the tales. My only regret is that there wasn't room for even more illustrations although plenty are provided here.

Unfortunately, the cover of the book is deceptive due to its design. With the last two letters of "Princess" appearing over the glowing candle, the book appears to be "Prince Stories" at first glance of the cover. Never fear, the interior of the book is much better designed with no loss of illustration or textual integrity.


  1. Just wanted to mention this isn't a typical 'Princess' book. I tend to avoid overly princess-y things and I think the book is marketed as such to grab the attention of those who DO like princess stuff. This is really just a wonderful collection of stories with a variety of illustrations (and illustrators) throughout. Very worthwhile collection for both the tales and fairy tale illustrations (and they don't just show princesses). People are always surprised to see this book on my shelf, even though they know I love fairy tales, so I'm always explaining this is one book to not judge by its cover.

  2. I have a Cooper Edens Beauty and the Beast that I found in a used bookstore the other day. It's a really neat retelling of the story accompanied by various Golden Age era B&B illustrations. I love it!