London. A Pilgrimage.
London: Grant & Co., 1872. Folio, original brown gilt-stamped and lettered morocco, backstrip richly gilt. [xiv], xii, 191 pp. Wood-engraved half-title, frontispiece, & 52 full-page plates, each with captioned tissue guard; and 146 wood-engraved text illustrations and pictorial initials. An ex-library copy, with white tipp-ex on the backstrip and two library bookplates in the front pastedown. First English edition of this great work, preceding the first French edition (with its briefer, less informed text) by four years. This copy is in the deluxe presentation publishers binding, exceptionally rare thus. The book was conceived in 1868 by Jerrold, an experienced journalist; and author and artist prowled every corner of the metropolis, sometimes accompanied by plainclothes police. The theme of this book had been anticipated by Matthew Arnold three years earlier when he wrote of London, with its unutterable external hideousness, and with its internal canker of publicé egestas, privatim opulentia - to use the words which Sallust puts into Catos mouth about Rome, -unequaled in the world (Culture and Anarchy, London, 1869, p. 31). Dorés devastating realization of the contrast of wealth and poverty in a modern metropolis makes London one of the great illustrated books of the world. The English edition antedates the French by four years (and has 6 more plates), and indeed it is a handsomer book, except for the few copies of the French edition printed on papier de Chine. - Ray. If one book depicts Dickens London in all its glory and especially misery, this is it; and it is hard to cite another book of any period which so perfectly defines a time and place in history as this book does. Bland, A History of Book Illustration, pp. 289-90. Ray, Art of the French Illustrated Book, 251. Illustrator and the Book in England 297. Artist and the Book 86. Muir, Victorian Illustrated Books, pp. 225-227.
(Item Id: 106883)