The Daughters of the Stars (1939)
Illustrated by Edmund Dulac
On the left, we show a rare copy of The Daughters of the Stars by Mary Crary. Illustrated by Edmund Dulac, this book was published by Hatchard and Co. (London) in 1939.
This copy shows the original decoratively embossed cream cloth cover.
The Daughters of the Stars was a tale written by Mary Crary to inspire girls - and mothers - through narrative describing the
fantastic journey of Perdita and Astrella that was similar to traditionally styled fairytales. In this tale, however, Perdita
(Astrellas's) mother was not dispatched within the first lines, but accompanied her daughter throughout the magnificent tale.
Owing to constraints imposed by wartime budgets, the original commission extended to Dulac for illustrating Crary's tale was
restricted to just two colour illustrations and marginal monotone designs
(including the Title Page).
A letter from Crary's mother published in The Rotarian (September 1940) provides a lovely introduction to the Book and
significance of Dulac's illustrations:
It was known that my daughter had written a beautiful Fairy Tale.
It is said that within the sacred walls of Hatchard's in Piccadilly one can recapture the atmosphere
of any literary period.
Hatchard's, the royalty of books stores. By appointment to the King. At 187 Piccadilly. Chapman
and Hall, who published most of Charles Dickens' work, were at 192 Piccadilly.
Harchard's were willing to publish my daughter's book. They had published but few things and
their tradition forbade any but a fine edition. Selected paper, printing, design, and binding.
My daughter had said no one should touch the illustrations but Edmund Dulac. Edmund Dulac,
who had not done an illustration for 11 years, who would not even reply to inquiries concerning
them and who had just finished his gigantic task of designing the more important stamps for the
new British reign.
But I knew Edmund Dulac's flair was for fantasy, and once he was prevailed upon to read
"The Daughters of the Stars," he agree, not only to do the illustrations but to design the complete
format of the book.
On September 1, 1939, two of the illustrations were done. Selected material and selected
craftsmanship for the book were contracted for.
For the first time in its history Hatchard's planned to clear one of its famed windows and place
therein my daughter's portrait, together with an original Dulac illustration on each side of her and
above all two scrolls announcing the forthcoming book and calling is "Something sane in a mad
world". At the top of the scrolls were the Royal Arms of the King, the Queen, and of Queen Mary.
Beautifully painted in colour.
Our Greeting Cards and Reproduction Prints
For connoisseurs of Dulac's work, we have prepared sets of 2 Greeting Cards displaying each of his colour images for The Daughters of the Stars and on the left, we show an example of how these Greeting Cards appear.
When presented on Greeting Cards, these images are prepared as tipped-in plates - in hommage to the hand-crafted
approach typical of prestige illustrated publications produced in the early decades of the 20th Century. Each card is
hand-finished and and the images are presented on Ivory card stock with an accompanying envelope. The rear of each
card carries information about Edmund Dulac, this wonderful suite and the profiled illustration - we have left the interior
of the cards blank so that you may write your own personal message.
Should you wish to order a Reproduction Print of one or more of these images, we have provided some options below.
Each of these large format prints is also accompanied by information about Edmund Dulac, this suite and the profiled
To purchase, simply click on the appropriate "Add to Cart" button and you will be taken through to our Shopping Cart
secured through PayPal. Multiple purchases will be consolidated by that feature and shipping and handling costs to any
destination in the world are accommodated by our flat-rate fee of US$20 for every US$200 worth of purchases.
Of course, should you wish to discuss some customised options, we welcome your contact on any matter through
In the meantime, enjoy perusing these wonderful images from Edmund Dulac.
The colour illustrations
"Good-bye, Astrella! Good-bye, Perdita!"
The captain followed at a respectful
distance, and soon they reached the
threshold and the latticed gates
Reproduction on 12x18" sheet
Code: ED DS 1 (12x18)
Reproduction on 12x18" sheet
Code: ED DS 2 (12x18)