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Olive Roscoe or The New Sister

E[velyn] Everett Green

Evelyn Everett-Green (1856-1932) was a prolific English novelist who wrote stories for adolescent girls including many titles published by Thomas Nelson and Sons. This novel was first published by Thomas Nelson in 1896 with eight colour illustrations. This is a cheaper reprint of that edition, which uses four of the original plates designed by an unknown artist.

Nelson's Stories for Girls seems to have been a new series because when Blampied was asked to design the jacket in a letter dated 12th March 1919, Edwin Jack wasn't clear about what he wanted:

Herewith we are sending you a girls' story, Olive Roscoe, and we shall be obliged if you will send us a sketch for the wrapper of this book. Size of the book will be that of the slip of paper enclosed. This book is one of a series for boys, girls and children and we wish to work into the design somehow so that the words may stand out prominently – Nelson’s Library for Girls – girls being the most important word. We have though of various means of achieving this purpose. We could have it along the top or along the bottom but what seems to us the best idea is to have a circle or device which would appear at the same place on each volume and attract the eye. As regards the shape of this label we leave it to you to make suggestions. Perhaps you could send us one or two alternatives? It might either be a circle or a shield, then it might be either got into the coloured picture or the coloured picture might be vignetted and the label stand apart from it. This, too, we must leave to you. Our idea is that the label might be a solid colour with the lettering coming up in a light colour, red with yellow lettering or blue with white lettering. On the back of the book as indicated on sketch we should require a similar label. Below it might come some little note in colour and then the lettering. It will oblige if you will let us have your suggestions at an early date.

The design was declared 'very effective' and was used on the jacket.

Later edition

Bibliography code: NEL-20.5

Publisher: Thomas Nelson and Sons

Series: Nelson's Story for Girls

Year: [1920]

Format: 8vo

Pages: 384 pp

Binding: Green cloth decorated with a design in black and yellow of four girls around a central circular device of leaves with 'Nelson's Library for Girls' within; title, author, head of girl in a circle, and publisher in black with yellow decorations

Size: 162 x 119 mm

Dust jacket: signed Blampied, lower left corner

Internal illustrations: frontispiece in colours and three internal plates in colour, printed on glossy paper and bound in, unnumbered, not by Blampied

Source of internal illustrations: first Nelson edition

Price: 1 shilling 6 pence, later 1/9

Printing history: not stated

Printed by: Printed in Great Britain in the press of the Publishers

Notes: The accession date of the copy in the Bodleian Library is 2nd July 1920. My copy has an inscription dated Xmas 1921 and the label of L. Tozer & Co., Bookseller, Wellington, Somerset.

Image of dust jacket

Dust jacket (click to enlarge)

Image of dust jacket

Covers of book and of series, not by Blampied (click to enlarge)