The Envelope Booklets of T.N. Foulis

11th July 2020

We love these little "Envelope Booklets" produced by Edinburgh based publisher T.N. Foulis (pronounced Fool-iss). As the name suggests they were designed to be popped inside an envelope and sent as gifts - some of them even came with a wraparound envelope attached.

Isabella, or the Pot of Basil booklet in it's original envelope

The booklet perfectly protected by the envelope

The little volumes of poetry are generally between 6 and 7 inches tall with decorative paper or japon covers, although some were also issued in limp suede bindings, usually with images or lettering blind stamped. The covers are often very elaboarate, many drawn by Scottish artists like Jessie M King, Annie French and Katharine Cameron.
Two bindings variants for Kilmeny
Suede binding and pictorial binding design for Rubaiyat by Jessie M. King
Internally the colour plates are frequently not provided by the cover artist, although Jessie M. King did produce drawings for James Hogg's Kilmeny and John Keats' Isabella, or the Pot of Basil.
 Jessie M. King title page and frontispiece for Isabella

Many of the colour plates are by fairly well known artists including, W.Russell Flint, William Hatherell and Harry Rountree.

 Aucassin and Nicolette, cover design by Jessie M King
Aucassin and Nicolette, frontispiece and title page by Katharine Cameron 
 Rubaiyat illustrations by Maurice Greiffenhagen
 William Russell Flint drawings accompany Browning's poetry
The booklets contain selections of poetry and were split into series, with appealing titles such as, friendship booklets, garden lover's booklets, open-air booklets and the London series. The selection below are all designed by Jessie M King.

What perfect little gifts to receive in the post!
Browse these and other TN Foulis books.



  • Keith Andreetti 17/Apr/2022 13:18

    They must have produced different versions of the same book. I have a copy of Omar Khayyam different to both of those pictured above. The illustrations in mine are by Gilbert James. I found it in my grandmother's loft back in the fifties and have treasured it ever since.

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