MBS The Library of the Queen´s Dolls´ House
- The News Letter of the LXIVMOS , Number 14, January 15, 1929
In this first issue of our NEWS LETTER to come from London, England,
nothing could be more appropriate to, nor characteristic of our
special purpose, than a description, however brief, of the most
wonderful and partly unique miniature library in the world, with its
permanent home in Windsor Castle, England.
Of course, this is the library in Queen Mary's Dolls' House, and it
goes without saying that nothing could be written about this most
interesting twentieth century mansion in miniature without recourse
to the fine two-volume work published by Messrs. Methuen & Co., Ltd.,
London, by permission of H.M. the Queen; and in describing the
library of the Dolls' House a writer would be helpless without the
use of volume two of this work, which is edited by E. V. Lucas, and
is subtitled, " The Queen's Dolls' House Library."
This Royal Library is panelled throughout in walnut, with recessed
bookcases and three columns at either end intersect the room. The
decorated ceiling is the work of William Walcot, the well-known
artist, and the carpets and rugs in heavy pile and Persian design
were woven in England. All the furniture is made of walnut, and the
easy chairs are covered with red leather. The centre of the room is
occupied by a writing desk with drawers in front and cupboards
behind, and on either side of the desk is a cabinet of four drawers
each, in which is stored a collection of 770 water colour drawings,
drawings and prints, all executed specially for the Dolls' House by
living artists, except two examples by Clarkson Stanfield.
In a room Iined with bookcases there is Iittle space for pictures and
here we have only three on the walls. Over the fireplace hangs a
painting of Queen Elizabeth by Mr. Ranken; whilst at one end is a
portrait of Henry VII. by Mr. Frank Reynolds, R.I., and at the other
end of Henry VIII. by Sir Arthur Cape, R.A. In size the library is 45
inches long, 21 inches broad, and 15 1/4 inches high.
Other details of interest in the library are a model of the "Royal
George," two revolving geographical globes, a set of chessmen
displayed for a game, several official dispatch boxes, a wastepaper
basket, a stationery cabinet, framed photographs, bronzes, a safe,
and sporting guns with cartridges.
We now come to the subjects most germane to our special interests,
the books without which a library cannot come into being.
The scale of the Dolls' House is one inch to the foot, exactly on the
scale of the Lilliputs in Swift's "Gulliver's Travels." We find the
largest book is about 1 3/4 inches tall, and the majority about 1 1/2
The first in importance are those unique volumes containing prose and
poetry written by the hand of the authors themselves. To give a full
list of these authors would constitute a modern literary "Who's Who,"
for 160 writers are represented, half of whom have contributed
original matter composed specially for the Dolls' House.
Among the most famous names, though all are well known, may be
mentioned: Maurice Baring, Sir J. M. Barrie, Max Beerbohm, Hilaire
Belloc, Arnold Bennett, Robert Bridges (Poet Laureate), G. K.
Chesterton, Joseph Conrad, Walter de la Mare, Sir A. Conan Doyle,
John Drinkwater, Lord Dunsany, Fougasse (Kenneth Bird), John
Galsworthy, Sir Edmund Gosse, Viscount Haldane, Thomas Hardy, Maurice
Hewlett, A. E. Housman, Aldous Huxley, W. W. Jacobs, Rudyard Kipling,
E. V. Lucas, W. Somerset Maugham, Leonard Merrick, Alice MeyneIl, A.
A. Milne, Barry Pain, Sir Arthur Pinero, Sir Arthur QuiIler-Couch,
George Saintsbury, Siegfried Sassoon, Sir Owen Seaman, Clement K.
Shorter, May Sinclair, J. C. Squire, James Stephens, Frank
Swinnerton, A. B. Walkley, Hugh Walpole, Edith Wharton, G. C.
Williamson, Margaret L. Woods, Francis Brett Young, and Filson Young.
Bearing in mind that 80 authors have contributed original writings to
the library, the fans of these particular writers must feel how
hopeless it is for them to possess a complete collection of any one.
The smallest volume among these living authors (a few are deceased
since 1922) is the original one by E. V. Lucas, which measures only
one inch in height.
The only contribution to be printed and not written is a copy of
Horace, which Mr. St. John Hornby printed at his Ashendene Press, and
then photographed down. The small volume measuring about 1 1/2 by 1
All these volumes of modern literature are exquisitely bound in
leathers and vellum, by various craftsmen of the day, who generously
gave their services.
Apart from pure literature, there are subjects to suit all moods and
interests, such as architecture, art, biography, cookery, culture,
drama, gardening, heraldry, history, philosophy, sport, and even
surgery, and nearly all these contributions which are modern are also
In addition, there are other original books to be found in the
library, including a catalogue of the drawings and prints in the
library compiled by Wm. F. Muller, a birthday book with water colour
illustrations prepared by Lady Lloyd, a Sandringham stud book
compiled by Major Fetherstonhaugh, a cellar book prepared by Mr.
Francis Berry, two stamp albums containing a few diminutive
facsimiles of stamps, and four volumes containing autographs of naval
officers, military officers, statesmen, and actors and actresses; and
a whole section of music comprising work by 25 living composers.
The works already described in a general survey do not constitute the
whole contents of the bookcases. Many of the other books are
wellknown to most of us, and we are not debarred (finances
permitting) from possessing examples.
There are nine of the noted bijou almanacks, eight of the tiny French
juvenile books of the early 19th century, two miniature Bibles, of
the 18th century, nine of David Bryce´s titles, including the Ellen
Terry Bijou Shakespeare, in 40 volumes, and ten other familiar items.
Finally there are miniature facsimiles of standard reference books
such as "Who's Who," Post Office Directory, Kelly's Directory, A.B.C.
Railway Guide, Atlas, Hunting Maps, Motor Maps, and thirteen premier
newspapers and journals (not quite up to date, I presume). The London
Times can be seen lying on the chair to the left of the writing desk.
One more item of importance must not be omitted, and that is the
Royal bookplate carried by each little volume. It represents a view
of Windsor Castle, with the Queen's monogram, "M.R." designed by Mr.
Ernest H. Shepard, and measures 2 1/32 by 1/2 inch.
N.B. In our February News Letterwe will publish a list of the printed
miniature books in the Queen´s Library.
The News Letter of the LXIVMOS , Number 15, February 15, 1929, page 8
List of Printed Miniature Books in Queen´s Dolls´ House Library
IN THE story of the Queen's Dolls' House in our January issue, we
promised to publish a list of the wee books in the little library,
and here it is.
* The English Bijou Almanac for 1836. Poetically illustrated by L. E.
L. London. 3/4" by 1/2".
* The English Bijou Almanac for 1837. Poetically illustrated by L. E.
L. London. 3/4" by 1/2".
* The English Bijou Almanac for 1838. Poetically illustrated by L. E.
L. London. 7/8" by 5/8".
* The English Bijou Almanac for 1839. Poetically illustrated by L. E.
* Schloss´s English Bijou Almanac for 1839. Poetically illustrated by
L. E. L. London. 3/4" by 1/2".
* Schloss´s English Bijou Almanac for 1842. Poetically illustrated by
the Hon. Mrs. Norton. 3/4" by 1/2".
* The Bijou Almanac for 1846. 7/8" by 5/8".
* Almanac for the Year of Our Lord 1733. London. Printed for Ye
Company of Stationers. In original red leather binding with clasp. 2"
* The Holy Bible. With a frontispiece. 1 5/8" by 1 1/4".
* Biblia, or a Practical Summary of Ye Old and New Testaments. 1 5/8"
by 1 1/8".
* The Bible in Miniature, or a Concise History of the Old and New
Testaments. 1 5/8" by 1 1/8".
* New Testament. 3/4" by 5/8".
* English Dictionary. 1 1/8" by 3/4".
* Koran. Bound in maroon leather. Two copies. 1 1/8" by 7/8".
* The Smallest French and English Dictionary in the World. By C. E.
A. Gasc, M.A., of Paris. 1 1/8" by 7/8".
* Old English, Scotch and Irish Songs with Music. A favourite
selection. Edited by William Moodie. With twenty-four original
sketches by A. S. Boyd, R.S.W. 1 7/8" by 7/8".
* Witty, Humorous and Merry Thoughts. Selected by T. M. 1 1/8" by
* Golden Thoughts from Great Authors. Selected by Alice Crowther. 1
1/8" by 7/8".
* The Cottar´s Saturday Night and Other Poems by Robert Burns.
IIIustrated. 2" by 1 3/8".
* Poems, chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, by Robert Burns. (Two
copies). 1 1/8" by 3/4".
* Diamond Life of Alfred The Great. 1 3/4" by 1 1/2".
* A Record of Events during the Queen´s Sixty Years´ Reign.
IIIustrated. 1 3/8" by 1 1/8".
* Miniature History of England. IIIustrated. 1 3/8" by 1 1/8".
* Small Rain Upon the Tender Herb. Deut. XXXii. 1 3/8" by 1 1/8".
* Dickens, Charles ---
The Battle of Life. Eight illustrations.
A Christmas Carol. Seven illustrations.
The Chimes. Eight illustrations.
The Cricket on the Hearth. Eight illustrations.
The Haunted Man. Eight illustrations.
2" by 1 1/2"
* Shakespeare, William - The comlete works in 40 volums, the last of
which consists of a Glossary.
The "Ellen Terry" Bijou Edition. Bound in red leather. Gilt edges. 2"
by 1 1/2".
* The Royal Souvenir--Six photographs, King Edward VII., Queen
Alexandra, King George V., Queen Mary, Prince of Wales, Queen
Victoria, in a gold and enamelled locket (book shape with hinged
leaves). 3/4" by 5/8".
* Galileo, a Madame Cristina di Lovena (1615). Stampato coi coratteri
dei Dantino onde superare qualsiasi altre minuscula edizione. Maggio,
1897. Smallest book printed from movable type. 1/2" by 3/8".
* The Mite.--IlIustrated. Printed from movable type by E. A.
Robinson. Grimsby, 1891 3/4" by 1/2".
* Jeanne D.Arc.--H. Buffenoir. Illustrations de C. Marie. 1 3/4" by 1
* L´Ami De La Jeunesse.-1819. In a case (to look like a book) of
engraved mother-of-pearl and gold. Inscribed on p. 2 "Camilla
Mendosa, July 16, 1822." 7/8" by 5/8".
* La Souris Blanche.--Hegesippe Moreau. IIIustre par Henri Pille. 1
1/4" by 1 1/8".
* Le Conseiller Des Graces.-Dedie aux Dames. Annee 1817. 1" by 3/4".
* Le Petit Polichinel. Enclosed in locket in shape of book with
Malachite sides. 7/8" by 5/8".
* Les Rondes De L´Engance.--IlIustrations de Steinlen. 1 1/2" by 1
* Jeannet Et Colin.--By Voltaire. IIIustre par Steinlen. 1896. 1 3/8"
by 1 1/8".
* Le Tableau De La Vie.--Annee 1821. 3/4" by 3/8".
* Valeur Et Constance.-- 1" by 3/4".