London: Field & Tuer et al, 1883. Crawhall, Joseph. Limited Edition. Hardcover. Quarto size, approx. 290 pp. Good. Item #CNPV03
Joseph Crawhall II (1821-1896) was born at Newcastle, a city famous for its wood engravers (including Thomas Bewick). He became a wood engraver himself and this production is a bit unique, being "part archaism, part bibliomania and part wit" (Simon Houfe, Dict. of 19th Century British Book Illustrators, p. 104). Chapbooks were an type of popular literature in early modern Europe which was used for the dissemination of popular culture to the common people. Many different kinds of ephemera and popular or folk literature were published as chapbooks, such as almanacs, children's literature, folk tales, ballads, nursery rhymes, pamphlets, poetry, and political and religious tracts. Chapbooks generally included crude woodcut illustrations, often with images that were completely irrelevant to the text.
This is a collection of eight chapbooks by Joseph Crawhall with his own hand-coloured woodcut illustrations, including the following chapbooks: "The Barkeshire Lady's Garland", "The Babes in the Wood", "I Know what I Know", "Jemmy & Nancy of Yarmouth", "The Taming of a Shrew", "Blew-Cap for me", "John & Joan, and "George Barnewel". Note that a facsimile was published in 1976, but as with all facsmiles, it lacks the vibrancy and personality of the original with its hand-coloured illustrations.
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in brown paper boards with light blue cloth spine (not original), black lettering and hand-coloured woodcut illustrations on both boards, top edge rough-cut, the other edges uncut, tasteful prior owner's bookplate on the front pastedown with a private library number, each title page for every chapbook is printed on a coloured page, numerous illustrations throughout, each illustration has been hand-coloured by Joseph Crawhall as written by the author: "As the illustrations herein are all hand coloured the issue is necessarily limited - Joseph Crawhall", bound in at the rear is a prospectus for another book "In Preparation", "Olde ffrendes wyth newe Faces"; quarto size (approximately 11.25" tall), each of the eight chapbooks separately paginated, the total approximately 145 leaves.
___CONDITION: Good condition overall, the book is complete, the original boards are present and all pages and illustrations are clean, some with offsetting from woodcuts opposite; the binding is rough, the original spine and corner coverings are missing, a replacement spine of light blue cloth was supplied by a prior owner, the boards show overall soiling and wear, both hinges are cracked.
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