Price Point

10. Price: 6d.

Advertised as part of a collection of downmarket works for children, this version of Jack, Giant Killer also sits at the price point of sixpence, perhaps because it includes a fold-out coloured frontispiece as well as coloured illustrations throughout, although possibly also because sixpence was cheap enough for downmarket readers and not too cheap for middle-class parents. A one-penny chapbook with sketchy woodcuts might seem to lack educational value or seem too working class, but a chapbook for sixpence with distinguishing features, even though a traditional folk tale such as Jack, Giant Killer, could be justified by well-meaning parents. The combination of amusement and instruction common to children’s literature was not enough – the packaging and the price mattered, as publishers well knew.