- Museum number
Good Words for1866. Edited by Norman Macleod, D. D. And illustrated by J. Wolf, R. P. Leitch, W. Small, G. J. Pinwell,, A. B. Houghton, J. W. North, and others. London: Strahan and Co., Magazine Publishers, 1866. London: Bradbury, Evans, and Co, printers, Whitefriars. 862p. 60 separate plates and illustrations set into text. [This may mean that electrotypes were used to reproduce original wood engravings.] Additional artists in the “List of Illustrations” are: E. W. Wimpriss [i.e. possibly Edmund Morison Wimperis], T. Sulman, F. W. Lawson, W. J. Linton. Most of the engravings are signed “J. Swain” and “Linton”. The illustration facing page 424 is after Linton, signed bottom left, accompanying the poem: “Between the showers”. The illustrations between pages 600 and 601 are after Houghton, accompanying the poem “Harvest”, by E. A. S. The illustrations facing page 624 is after Edwards, captioned: “Ruth Thornbury”, accompanying chapter VII of the story of the same title by William Gilbert. 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. 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/ 1866/”, 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: “/1866/” is blocked in gold at the tail.
- Production date
Height: 245 millimetres
Thickness: 60 millimetres
Width: 180 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- From Gleeson White
In 1866, although engravings after photographs do not usurp the space to the extent they did in the previous year, they are present, and the volume, in spite of many excellent drawings, cannot compare in interest with those for 1862-64. The frontispiece, Lilies, is a most charming figure-subject by W. Small, who contributes also three others: The Old Yeomanry Weeks (p. 127), Deliverance (p. 663), a typical ex¬ample of a landscape with figures in the foreground, which, iii the hands of this artist, becomes something entirely distinct from the 'figure with a landscape beyond ' of most others; and Carissimo P. 736), a pair of lovers on an old stone bench, 'just beyond the Julian gate,' which seems as carefully studied as if it were intended for a painting in oils. To compare the average picture to a poem to-day, with the work of Mr. Small and many of his fellows, is not encouraging. Thirty years ago it seemed as if the draughtsman did his best to evolve a perfect representation of the subject of the verses; now one feels doubtful whether the artist does not keep on hand, to be supplied to order, a series of lovers in attitudes warranted to fit, more or less accurately, any verses by any poet. Of course for one picture issued then, a score, perhaps a hundred, are published to-day, and it might be that numer¬ically as many really good drawings appear in the course of a year now, as then; but, while our average rarely descends to time feeblest depths of the sixties, it still more rarely comes near such work as Mr. Small's, whose method is still followed and has influenced more decidedly a larger number of draughts¬men than has that of Millais, Walker, Pinwell, or Houghton.
Studying his work at this date, you realise how very strongly he influenced the so-called ' Graphic School ' which supplanted the movement we are considering in the next decade. Despite the appreciation, contemporary and retrospective, already bestowed upon his work, despite the influence—not always for good—upon the younger men, it is yet open to doubt if the genius of this remarkable artist has received adequate recognition. In a running commentary upon work of all degrees of excellence, one is struck anew with its admirably sustained power and its constantly fresh manner.
This digression, provoked by the four delightful 'Small' drawings, must not lead one to overlook the rest of the pictures in Good Words for 1866. They include The Island Church, by J. W. North (p. 393), The Life-Boat, by J. W. Lawson (p. 248), Between the Showers, by W. J. Linton, (p. 424), six illustrations to Ruth Thornbury, by M. E. Edwards, and one by G. J. Pinwell, Bridget Daily's Change. Perhaps the most notable of the year are the five still to be named: A. Boyd Houghton's The Voyage, and a set of four half-page drawings, Reaping-, Binding, Carrying; Gleaning, entitled The Harvest (pp. 600, 601). These have a decorative arrangement not always present in the work of this clever artist, and a peculiarly large method of treatment, so much so that if the text informed you that they were pen-sketches from life-size paintings, you would not be surprised. Whether by accident or design, it is curious to discover that the land¬scapes in each pair, set as they are on pages facing one another, have a look of being carried across the book in Japanese fashion.
- Not on display
- Associated titles
Associated Title: Ruth Thornbury
Associated Title: harvest [A poem.]
Associated Title: between the showers [poem].
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number