Virtual Children's Books Exhibits


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Sharp Traders

Beatrix Potter





3.  Edward Verrall Lucas.
The Book of Shops.
Francis D. Bedford, illustrator.
London: Grant Richards, 1899.

Like many nineteenth-century authors of books of trades for children, Lucas (1868-1938) and Bedford (1864-1954) presented an idealized picture of commerce. Shoppers always find exactly what they want at a price they can afford in convenient, pleasant establishments where the proprietors are unfailingly courteous and efficient. Customers would not dream of shoplifting and always pay their bills promptly. Bedford's interior of this rather large, well-lit, well-stocked country store radiates prosperity and respectability. This is just the sort of establishment we might expect to find in Sawrey, the village where Potter lived much of her adult life.