Six Henry Van Dyke Books – Blue and Gold


This set of books by novelist, Henry Van Dyke, was published by Scribner and Sons over a hundred years ago. They all have a dark blue cloth cover with elaborate gilt designs by Margaret Armstrong.


Margaret Armstrong is among a number of important woman cover designers, beginning her work in the late 1880s. She began her career at A.C. McClurg and then went on to other publishers, primarily Scribner’s, for whom she designed half of her total output of about 270 books. Armstrong also specialized in designing many of the works of a few authors including Myrtle Reed, Henry Van Dyke, Paul Bourget, and Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Armstrong’s cover designs reflect her interest in nature, employing plant, vine, and flower themes. She utilized bold and strikingly colored inks and book cloths, and often designated that gold-stamped areas be both glossy and matte to heighten the play of light and create more visual interest. Her use of slightly asymmetrical designs, however, set hers apart from many of her contemporaries and from the prevailing style based on art nouveau or Jugendstil.

Here’s a great pinterest desplay of her work…

Henry Van Dyke was a professor of English literature at Princeton from 1899 – 1923. He was a friend of Helen Keller’s. Later, Wilson appointed him an ambassador to Europe during World War I.

A multitalented personality, Henry Van Dyke was an American author, educator, and clergyman, known for his works which included short stories, poems, and essays. He believed in sympathy for man, fostering companionship with nature, and promoting a reverent view of life. He was an influential writer and contributed in various other fields such as religion, literature, education, diplomacy, public service, and nature. Van Dyke was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters and received many other honors. He was a successful minister and served efficiently to his country when he became the Minister to the Netherlands and Luxembourg in 1913. His important works include “The Poetry of Tennyson” (1889), “The Other Wise Man” (1896) and “The First Christmas Tree“(1897).



Companionable Books, Henry Van Dyke, October, 1922, Charles Scribner’s sons, condition — cracked spine, clean pages, no writing, worn spine, front cover in good condition. gilt lettering,

Days Off, 1907 First edition, Second Printing, condition — signed “1907 Ida W. Herman.” spine cracked, some wear on front cover, otherwise good condition, no writing inside,

The Ruling Passion, 1901 Charles Scribner, cover has fading on the spine, inside is very good, no writing,

The Unknown Quantity, 1912, Charles Scribner. cloth cover is in good shape, One corner is banged, Signed inside “1913 Dr. W. C. Wilbur S. C. Freeman.” (Dr. W. C. Wilbur was a dentist in Corning, NY. Charlotte Freeman was his wife.)

The Blue Flower 1902, Inscribed “To siter mary from Johnson July 1904” excellent condition. The cloth cover is bright and clean.

Fisherman’s Luck 1905 bookseller price on inside cover in pencil, small paint mark on cloth cover, otherwise very good condition


I have lots more pictures. Just ask.


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