- Museum number
Good Words for1862. Edited by Norman Macleod, D. D. And Illustrated by J. E. Millais, Holman Hunt, John Tenniel, Charles Keene, Frederick Walker, J. D. Watson, and others. London: Alexander Strahan and Co., 32 Ludgate Hill, 1862. [Edinburgh: Thomas Constable, printer to the Queen and to the University.] 766p. [The illustrations are placed within the text throughout; no separate plates.] The illustrators, not on the title page, are listed as [full names where possible]:, Andrews, Professor Smyth, Thomas Morten, Leifchild, Matthew James Lawless, E. B. Jones, John Pettie, William Paton Burton, Frederick Sandys, F. Stone, Arthur Boyd Houghton, Henry Hugh Armistead, James Whistler, S. Solomon [i.e. probably Simeon Solomon], John McWhirter. Several of the engravings are signed “Dalziel”. The illustration on page 536 is after Keene, accompanying the text of “Her Majesty Nannerl the washerwoman”. The illustration on page 585 is after Whistler, signed bottom left, accompanying chapter 1 of “the Trial Sermon”. The illustration on page 592 is after S. Solomon, signed with monogram bottom right, accompanying William Robertson’s poem: “The veiled bride”. The illustration on page 649 is after Whistler, signed bottom right, accompanying chapter 3 of “the trial sermon”. The illustration on page 721 is after Houghton, signed with monogram bottom left, accompanying the poem by Adelaide A. Proctor: “True or false?” The illustration on page 753 is after Houghton, accompanying the story “About toys” by J. Hamilton Fyfe. Robin de Beaumont’s notes regarding this copy are on the front endpaper verso, and on a separate paper slip.
Binding: Text sewn on three tapes. Gilt edges. Bevelled bords. Yellow endpapers and pastedowns. Purple wave vertical-grain cloth. The same design is blocked on both covers. A single fillet blocked in blind on the borders forms a “rule frame”. On the corners and the sides, patterns of stems, leaves and flower buds are blocked in blind. On the centre of the upper cover, the title: “/ Good/ Words/ 1862/”, are blocked in gold, in “floral” letters. The same lettering is blocked on the centre of the lower cover, in blind. The spine is blocked in gold and in blind. A single fillet is blocked in blind on the perimeter. From the head downwards, the decoration is: stylised plant decoration, blocked in blind; the words: “Good/ Words/ Edited By/ Norman Macleod D. D./” are blocked in gold. On the lower half of the spine, a diamond is formed by two fillets, blocked in gold; the diamond is surrounded by stylised plant decoration, blocked in blind; within the diamond, amidst plant decoration, the words: “/ With/ Illustrations//” are blocked in gold. The year: “/1862/” is blocked in gold at the tail.
- Production date
Height: 245 millimetres
Thickness: 53 millimetres
Width: 180 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- From Gleeson White.
In 1862 we find added to its list of artists, Millais, Keene, Sandys, Whistler, Holman Hunt, E. Burne-Jones, A. Boyd Houghton, Tenniel, S. Solomon, and Lawless, a notable group, even in that year when so many magazines show a marvellous 'galaxy of stars.' To Millais fell the twelve illustrations to Mistress and Maid, by the author of John Halifax, and two others, Olaf (p. 25) and Highland Flora (1),3.93). That these maintain fully the reputation of the great illustrator, whose later achievements in oil have in popular estimation eclipsed his importance as a black-and-white artist, goes without saying. If not equal to the superb Parables of the following year, they are worthy of their author. Indeed, no matter when you come across a Millais, it is with a fresh surprise each time that one finds it rarely falls below a singularly high level, and is apt to seem, for the moment, the best he ever did.
The two illustrations by J. M 'Neill Whistler seem to be very little known. Those to Once a Week, possibly from the fact of their being reprinted in Thornbury's Legendary Ballads, have been often referred to and reproduced several times; but no notice (so far as I recollect) of these, to The First Sermon, has found its way into print. The one (p. 585) shows a girl crouching by a fire, with a man, whose head is turned towards her, seated at a table with his hand on a lute. The other (p. 649) is a seated girl in meditation before a writing-table. Not a little of the beauty of line, which distinguishes the work of the famous etcher, is evident in these blocks, which were both engraved by Dalziel, and as whatever the original lost cannot now be estimated, as they stand they are nevertheless most admirable works, preserving the rapid touch of the pen-line in a remarkable degree.
The Charles Keene drawing to Nannerl the Washerwoman is another Dalziel block which merits praise in no slight measure; as here again one fancies that the attempt has men to preserve a facsimile of each touch of the artist, Mid not to translate wash into line. The King Sigurd of Burne-Jones has certainly lost a great deal; in fact, judg¬ing by drawings of the same period still extant, it conveys in effect quite different from that its author intended. Certainly, at the present time, he regards it as entirely un¬representative; but no doubt then as now he disliked drawing upon wood. To-day it has been said that his Chaucer draw¬ings in pencil were practically translated by another hand in the course of their being engraved on wood. Certainly tech¬nique of lead pencil is hardly suggested, much less reproduced in facsimile in the entirely admirable engravings by the veteran Mr. W. H. Hooper. But if the designs were photographed on the block such translation as they have undergone is no doubt due to the engraver.
A drawing by Simeon Solomon, The Veiled Bride (p. 592), seems also much less dainty than his pencil studies of the same period. Many artists, when they attempt to draw upon wood, find the material peculiarly unsympathetic. Rossetti has left his opinion on record, and it is quite possible that in both the Burne-Jones and Solomon, as in the Tennyson drawings, although the engravers may have accomplished miracles, what the artist had put down was untranslatable. For the delicacies Id pencil may easily produce something beyond the power of even the most skillful engraver to reproduce. The Sandys, (Until her Death (p. 312), illustrating a poem, loses much as it appeared in the magazine; you have but to compare it proof from the block itself, in a reprinted collection of Messrs. Strahan's engravings, to realise how different a result was secured upon good paper with careful printing. A. Boyd Houghton is represented by four subjects: My Treasure (p. 504), On the Cliff (p. 624), True or False (p. 721), and About Toys (p. 753); they all belong to the manner of his Home Scenes, rather than to his oriental illus¬trations. The Battle of Gilboa (p. 89), by Tenniel, is typical. M. J. Lawless is at his best in Rung into Heaven (p. 135), and in the Bands of Love (p. 632) shows more grace than he sometimes secured when confronted by modern costume.
T. Morten has a finely-engraved night-piece, Pictures in the Fire (p. 200), besides The Christmas Child (p. 56) and The carrier Pigeon (p. 121). The Holman Hunt, Go and Come (p. 32), a weeping figure, is not particularly interesting. Honesty (p. 736), by T. Graham, gives evidence of the power of an artist who has yet to be 'discovered' so far as his illustra¬tions are concerned. H. H. Armstead's Seaweeds (p. 568), and eight by J. D. Watson (pp. 9, 81, 144, 201, 209, 302, 400, 433) need no special comment, nor do the ten by J. Pettie (pp. 264-713). Fred Walker is represented by The Summer Woods, a typical pastoral (p. 368), Love in Death, a careworn woman in the snow (p. 18), and Out among the wildflowers (p. 657), the latter an excellent example of the grace he imparted to rustic figures. These, with a few diagrams and engravings from photographs, complete the record of a memorable, if not the most memorable, year of the magazine.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number