Chronicle of England

James E. DOYLE   |   Edmund EVANS

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Item#: 124212 price:$2,800.00

Chronicle of England
Chronicle of England

"THE PINNACLE OF BOOK ARTS": DOYLE'S CHRONICLE OF ENGLAND, WITH 81 VIVID COLOR WOOD-ENGRAVINGS AFTER HIS DRAWINGS, HANDSOMELY BOUND

(ENGLAND) DOYLE, James E. (EVANS, Edmund, engraver). A Chronicle of England. London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts & Green, 1864. Thick quarto, contemporary full green straight-grain morocco, gilt-decorated spine, raised bands with red morocco inlays, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $2800.

First edition of Doyle's popular history, with 81 intricate in-text color wood-engravings by Edmund Evans, "the greatest wood-engraver of the Victorian era," after Doyle’s original drawings, handsomely bound in full morocco-gilt by Rivière.

"While comparatively young… Doyle abandoned the profession of an artist and devoted himself to historical studies. For his own edification he compiled A Chronicle of England, B.C. 55-A.D. 1485, which he adorned with numerous illustrations in color. It received considerable praise from various persons to whom it was afterwards submitted, among others from the prince consort, and was well received by the public when published" (DNB). Doyle's illustrations are rendered by the greatest wood-engraver of the Victorian era, Edmund Evans, in "bright and fresh engravings, printed in as many as ten colors, [and] dropped into the text about once every six pages" (Ray, 150). "Evans had brought printing in color to a new efficiency, and his craftsmanship made possible artistic executions" (New York Times). Evans is also considered a forerunner in the use of color prints for children's books, chiefly those of Walter Crane, Randolph Caldecott, and Kate Greenaway. He ground his own pigments and produced inks that "preserved the freshness of the [original] colors" (Lundin, 163). In the 1860s Evans' most notable work was the present Chronicle of England, considered at the time the "pinnacle of book arts" (Lundin). Ray 241. Owner signature.

Closed marginal tear to one leaf (pp. 21-22), just extending into border, otherwise interior quite clean and fine, colors vivid. Corners and joints lightly rubbed. A handsome copy.

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