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    Exhibit: Book Illustrations, Goblins and Bindings

    Book Illustrations, Goblins, and Bindings

    The following exhibit focuses on three aspects of Memorial University Libraries' Roger and Marlene Peattie Collection: The Pre-Raphaelites as book illustrators; editions of Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market; and 19th century decorative trade bindings.


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    “Illustration was so central to Victorian England that it consistently influenced pursuits that were, in theory, much more prestigious...At one time or another, during the nineteenth century, all the arts in England—even music, when it accepted the mystique of the program—yearned to achieve the condition of illustration.” (Richard Maxwell, The Victorian Illustrated Book).

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    The Pre-Raphaelites as Illustrators

    ...They [Hunt, Rossetti and Millais] were pouring over Lasinio’s engravings of the Campos Santo Frescos in Pisa, and were especially taken with the work of Benozzo Gozzoli. Ruskin was maintaining that these paintings, however different they were from official, accomplished post-Renaissance painting, had the qualities of great art, and especially of great religious art. Hunt, Rossetti and Millais probably had similar ideas in mind. But they were more taken than Ruskin—especially since they had only seen the pictures through the medium of engraving—with the formal qualities of the paintings as they appeared in Lasinio’s volume, and particularly with their abrupt, shallow depth, their angularity, and their decision of line, as if they really had been the product of a burin or engraving-needle rather than a brush.” (Timothy Hilton, The Pre-Raphaelites).

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    1.Tennyson, Alfred. Poems. London: Edward Moxon, 1857. (Illustrator: “Palace of Art” by Dante Gabriel Rossetti).

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    2. Rossetti, Christina. Prince's Progress and Other Poems. London: Macmillan, 1866. (Illustrator: frontis and title page by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.)

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    3. Allingham, William. Day and Night Songs and The Music Master: A Love Poem. London: Bell & Daldy, 1860. (Illustrator: “Maids of Elfen-Mere” by Dante Gabriel Rossetti).

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    4. Tennyson, Alfred. Poems. London: Routledge, 1864. (Illustrator: “The Lady of Shalott” by William Holman Hunt)

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    “...The vast majority of the finest and most characteristic drawings were produced between 1860 and 1870. This was the really great period, during which the output of first-rate work was remarkable. It would have been more remarkable still had not drawing on wood been regarded by several of our artists only as an interesting experiment, and by others as a method of keeping the pot boiling when the more serious work of painting failed to do so. This is why we have so few designs by Rossetti, by Burne-Jones, by Holman Hunt, by Ford Maddox Brown...Nevertheless they all did make designs, often wonderful designs.” (Forrest Reid, Illustrators of the Sixties)

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    5. Home Affections Portrayed by the Poets. Ed. Charles Mackay. London: George Routledge, 1858. (Illustrator: "The Border Widow" by John Everett Millais)
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    6. Millais, John Everett. Millais's Illustrations: A Collection of Drawings on Wood. London: Alexander Strahan, 1866. (Illustrator: "The Wise and Foolish Virgins" by John Everett Millais).


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    7. Millais, John Everett. The parables of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. London: Routledge, 1864. (Illustrator: "The Lost Piece of Silver" by John Everett Millais).


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    “Throughout much of the Victorian period, wood engraving was the principal medium for reproducing black and white illustrations in books and magazines.....Wood engraving is a technical variation of the much older woodcut, examples of which date back to the 15th century...It’s origin in the late 18th century is associated with the Newcastle engraver, Thomas Bewick, who brilliantly exploited its potential. For a woodcut the soft-side grain of the wood is used, but Bewick and his followers used the hard end-grain of (usually) boxwood... Most of the illustrations displayed show the artists responding to works of literature. Usually they do so with a confidence born of their belief in the power of the image to make something new of the text...” Roger W. Peattie (from Pictures & Patterns)

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    8. Hueffe, F.M. The Brown Owl. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1892. (Illustrator: Ford Maddox Brown).


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    9. Poets of the Nineteenth Century. Ed. R.A. Willmott. London: Routledge, 1857. (Illustrator: “The Prisoner of Chillon” by Ford Maddox Brown)


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    10. Maclaren, Archibald. The Fairy Family. 2nd Ed. London: Macmillan, 1874. (Illustrator: Edward Burne-Jones).


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    11. Burne- Jones, Edward. Letters to Katie. London: Macmillan, 1925. (Illustrator: "Do you remember my pig? well--it had ten little ones" by Edward Burne-Jones)

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    12. Rossetti, Christina. Speaking Likenesses. London: Macmillan, 1874. (Illustrator: "The boy with the great mouth full of teeth grins at Maggie" by Arthur Hughes)


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    Editions of Goblin Market

    If time is the truest test of great literature, then Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market can be said to have passed with distinction. In the almost one hundred-and-fifty years since it was first published in 1862, Rossetti’s poem has been issued in many different editions by many different publishers. Critics and readers alike have continued to respond to the goblins’ cry:

    'Come buy our orchard fruits,
    Come buy, come buy:
    Apples and quinces,
    Lemons and oranges,
    Plump unpecked cherries,
    Melons and raspberries,
    Bloom-down-cheeked peaches,
    Swart-headed mulberries,
    Wild free-born cranberries,
    Crab-apples, dewberries,
    Pine-apples, blackberries,
    Apricots, strawberries;--
    All ripe together
    In summer weather,--
    Morns that pass by,
    Fair eves that fly;
    Come buy, come buy:

    Goblin Market has been interpreted as a poem for children (Christina Rossetti herself saw it this way), as a Religious allegory, and as a poem about the “fallen woman” in Victorian society. More recently it has been read as a criticism of nineteenth century marriage markets, as a critique of the rise of advertising in Victorian England, as a poem about the exclusion of women from art, and as a poem about the experience of drug addiction.

    The editions of Goblin Market on exhibit are taken from the Roger and Marlene Peattie Collection.

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    1. Rossetti, Christina. Goblin Market and Other Poems. 1st Ed. London: Macmillan, 1862. (Binding, frontis and title page by D.G. Rossetti). (E.M. Forster's personal copy).


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    2. Rossetti, Christina. Goblin Market. London: Macmillan, 1893. (illustrator. L. Housman)

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    3. Rossetti, Christina. Goblin Market, Prince's Progress and Other Poems. London: Oxford UP, 1913..

    4. Rossetti, Christina. Goblin Market. London: George G. Harrap, 1933.

    5. Rossetti, Christina. “Goblin Market.” Playboy September 1973: 115-119. (Illustrator: Kinuko Craft.)

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    6. Rossetti, Christina. Goblin Market. London: Victor Gollancz, 1980. (Illustrator: Martin Ware.)

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    7. Rossetti, Christina. Goblin Market. Boston: David R. Godine, 1981. (Illustrator: George Gershinowitz.).

    8. Rossetti, Christina. “Goblin Market.” Pathways to Fantasy July 1984: 9-18.

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    9. Rossetti, Christina. Goblin Market. Adapted: Polly Pen and Penny Harmon. New York: Dramatists Play Service, 1987. (Music by P. Pen. Adapted from poem by Christina Rossetti.)
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    19th Century Decorative Trade Bindings

    “Few books from the 1840s through the 1880s were left undecorated; nearly all received some level of design consideration. At their simplest, cover designs were made up from routine borders and ornaments impressed in blind or gilt. More elaborate designs used dies created uniquely for a text in conjunction with stock borders and ornaments. The highest level of book design used overall designs created specifically for the book at hand.

    Larger binding firms probably had staff for design work, but the highest level of execution called for cover designers. These artists emerged during the 1840s and 1860s; sometimes their work was identified with monograms or initials on the covers but many times not. At the best level their works employ ornament, stylized lettering, line drawings, color, and texture in coherent designs reflecting many different artistic styles.” (from a review of Edmund M.B. King’s Victorian Decorated Trade Bindings, 1830-1880: A Descriptive Bibliography

    Notable designers of the period include John Leighton, Robert Dudley, Henry Noel Humphreys, Owen Jones, William Ralston, William Harry Rogers, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Sliegh, Albert Henry Warren, and Matthew Digby Wyatt, among others.

    The Victorian decorated trade bindings on exhibit are taken from the Roger and Marlene Peattie Collection. A more extensive online exhibit of bindings from the same collection may be viewed at the library's Digital Archive:

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    1. Hunt, Leigh. A Jar of Honey from Mount Hybla. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1848.


    Cover Designer: Jones, Owen, 1809-1874

    Illustrator: Doyle, Richard, 1824-1883

    Printer: Vizetelly Brothers & Co.

    Material: White Paper Blue Green

    Technique Gold blocking Glazing (Coating)

    Design element: Plant-derived motifs, Tendrils, Leaves, Buds, Jars, Ovals, Strapwork, Passiflora, Floral patterns, Plinth.

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    2.Humphreys, Henry Noel. A Record of the Black Prince. London: Longmans, 1848.

    Cover Designer: Humphreys, Henry Noel, 1810-1879

    Printer: Vizetelly Brothers & Co.

    Material: Papier-mache, Black, Red Paper, Leather

    Technique: Piercing, Blocking, Gilding, Blind blocking, Gold blocking, Carving (Decorative arts)

    Style/Period: 19th century Gothic

    Design element: Bosses, Devices (Heraldry); Leaves; Rectangles; Moldings; Lions; Fleur-de-lys; Ribbons.

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    3. Hake, Thomas Gordon. Parables and Tales. London: Chapman & Hall, 1872

    Cover Designer: Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, 1828-1882

    Printer: Dalziel Brothers, Camden Press

    Engraver: Dalziel Brothers

    Illustrator: Hughes, Arthur, 1832-1915

    Material: Green Book cloth

    Technique: Gold blocking, Gilding

    Style/Period: 19th century

    Design element: Stippling, Crown of thorns, Stars, Floral patterns, Lilies-of-the-valley, Wickerwork, Spades, Belladonna (Plant), Cradles.

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    4. Poets’ Wit and Humour. Ed. W.H. Wills. London: Ward, Lock & Tyler, nd (c. 1860s).

    Cover Designer: Dudley, Robert, fl. 1858-1893

    Engravers: Bennett, Charles H. (Charles Henry),1829-1867, Thomas, George Houseman, 1824-1868

    Material: Sand grain Book cloth, Blue Yellow Paper

    Technique: Bevelling, Blocking, Gilding, Gold blocking, Blind blocking, Relief (Decorative arts), Hatching

    Style/Period: 19th century

    Design element: Floral patterns, Cartouches, Ornamental (Decorative arts), Rectangles, Lozenges, Lettering pieces, Circle Vignettes, Putti, Fools and jesters, Fillets (Bookbinding), Plant-derived motifs, Arabesques, Scrolls (Decorative arts), Lyre

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    5. Humphreys, Henry Noel. The Coins of England. 5th Ed. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1848.

    Cover Designer: Humphreys, Henry Noel, 1810-1879

    Printer: Vizetelly Brothers & Co.

    Engraver: Vizetelly Brothers & Co.

    Illustrator: Bauer, F.

    Material: Pink Paper, Grain patterns

    Technique: Gold blocking, Gilding

    Style/Period: 19th century

    Design element: Leaves, Stems, Strapwork, Gothic scripts, Clasps.

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    5. Hood, Thomas. Poems. London: E. Moxon, Son & Co., 1871.


    Binder: Leighton, Son, and Hodge

    Printer: Swift and Co., Regent Press

    Illustrator: Foster, Myles Birket, 1825-1899

    Material: Brown Sand grain Book cloth

    Technique: Gilding, Beveling, Gold blocking, Relief (Decorative arts), Blind blocking

    Style/Period: 19th century

    Design element: Fillets (Bookbinding), Medallions (Decorative arts), Leaves, Floral patterns, Lettering pieces, Square, Circle, Trellises, Flywheels, Plant-derived motifs, Ribbons


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