London. A Pilgrimage.
London: Grant & Co., 1872. Folio, [xii], xii, -191 pp., 126 vignettes, initials, and 54 full-page plates with tissue guards including half-title and frontis, text printed within a red double-ruled border. Modern half red morocco ruled in gilt, red cloth boards, backstrip with six raised bands, ruled and lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers, a.e.g. Some minor scattered foxing, otherwise a very good, complete copy. First English edition of this great work, preceding the first French edition (with its briefer, less informed text) by four years. 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 opulentiato use the words which Sallust puts into Catos mouth about Romeunequaled 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: 108636)