The Golden Basket

The Golden Basket is a children's novel written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans. It tells the story of a family's visit to Bruges and marks the first appearance of the author's best-known character, Madeline.[1] The novel was first published in 1936 and was a Newbery Honor recipient in 1937.[2]

In the novel, two sisters, Celeste and Melisande, stay at the Golden Basket hotel in Bruges with their father, Horatio Coggeshall of London. They befriend Jan, the innkeeper's son, and encounter several of the other guests. On a visit to Bruges cathedral with Jan, they meet a dozen little schoolgirls, including Madeline.[3]

The novel draws on the author's experience of hotel life—he was raised in his father's hotel in Austria and worked in American hotels as a young man. A visit to Belgium with his wife provided the inspiration for the setting.[1] The illustrations show many of the sights of Bruges.[3]


  1. ^ a b The Essential Guide to Children's Books and their Creators by Anita Silvey, page 40
  2. ^ "Newbery Medal and Honor Books, 1922-Present". American Library Association. Retrieved 2009-12-30.
  3. ^ a b The Newbery Companion by John Thomas Gillespie and Corinne J. Naden, p.86

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