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Alison Uttley Book Collection

Date range: 1613-1976

Medium: Printed

Number of items: 540 items

Books from the collection of Alison Uttley (1884-1976), the well-known children's writer.

Born Alice Jane Taylor in Cromford, Derbyshire, she developed a love of science at school, and won a scholarship to read physics at Manchester University; in 1906 she became only the second woman honours graduate of that University. Her writing career was born of necessity: her husband, James Arthur Uttley, died in 1930, his health broken by service in the First World War. In order to support herself and her son she began to write a series of stories about animals such as Little Grey Rabbit, Little Red Fox, Sam Pig and Hare. Her writing career blossomed, and she continued to write stories for young children, while expanding her range by writing for older children and adults.

Alison Uttley was the author of over one hundred books, and was awarded an honorary Litt. D. by Manchester University in 1970.

The majority of books in the collection date from the 20th century. Around a quarter are copies of Uttley's own publications, including books from the 'Little Grey Rabbit' series, illustrated by Margaret Tempest (1892-1982), and her country essays, illustrated by Charles Tunnicliffe (1901-1979), both of which drew upon Uttley's rural upbringing in Derbyshire. Other titles in the collection reflect Uttley's love of nature, English literature and children's literature. Walter de la Mare (1873-1956) and George Meredith (1828-1909) are well represented. Many of the books are illustrated. In addition to Tempest and Tunnicliffe, notable illustrators include Arthur Rackham (1867-1939), Edmund Dulac (1882-1953) and Randolph Caldecott (1846-1886). Numerous volumes include inscriptions in Uttley's own hand.

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Recorded in Library Search.


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