1893. London: Macmillan and Co., 1893.
8vo, xxxi, 236 pp. With 130 illustrations by Brock. Dark green cloth, dark green endpapers, a.e.g., with pictorial decorations in gilt. A fine copy.
§ A fine "Cranford" volume with binding design and illustrations by a young Charles E. Brock. The work was assessed by Joseph Pennell in his Pen Drawing and Pen Draughtmanship (1894): "Mr. Brock has come out with "Hood’s Humorous Poems". His drawing can scarce be called original, — there are many reminiscences in it, — but his humour, dramatic action, and his arrangement are quite his own."
The Cranford Series proper consists of twenty-four illustrated volumes issued over a period of thirty-two years, 1876-1907 by Macmillan and Co. They are all Crown 8vo; they all have edges cut and gilt; they are all bound in smooth shiny cloth of a uniform dark shade of green; they all have the fronts and the spines of these bindings heavily stamped with gold designs.
It was not until seventeen years and the issue of a fifth volume that it was even recognized as a series, and then it took its name, not from its originator, Caldecott, nor from its first volume, Old Christmas, but from its fourth volume, Cranford by Mrs. Gaskell, 1891. In 1892 when six new volumes were issued by the name of Cranford, the name was extended to the entire group, including the three previous volumes. (See T. Balston, “The Cranford Series and Its Imitators”, pp. 186-88, The Bookman’s Journal, Vol. XII, No. 47 (New Series), August, 1925.
In addition to the twenty-four “Cranford” volumes, there are a dozen or more other volumes which are ‘derivatives,’ similar-looking volumes issued by other publishers, including Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner; George Allen’ and F. S. Ells; they are often mistaken for the Cranford series, but are not part of it. Item #124273