“THE GREATEST VISUAL EXPRESSION OF THE SOCIAL CLASS STRUGGLE EVER PUBLISHED”: WITH 180 WOOD-ENGRAVINGS BY GUSTAVE DORÉ
DORÉ, Gustave and JERROLD, Blanchard. London: A Pilgrimage. London: Grant, 1872. Large folio (13 by 16 inches), early full red morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $5800.
First edition of Doré and Jerrold’s London, “superb, and noble in sentiment” (van Gogh), with 54 striking full-page wood-engravings and 126 in-text vignettes of “all segments of London society” by Doré.
"One can hardly deny that Doré is not merely one of the most popular but also one of the greatest of all illustrators… Perhaps Taine summed up Doré's appeal most eloquently: 'every imagination appeared languid in comparison with his. For energy, force, superabundance, originality, sparkle, and gloomy grandeur, I know only one equal to his— that of Tintoretto" (Ray, 327-29). "By 1872, Doré was the most popular artist in England, illustrator or painter. This work was eagerly awaited by the English public, having been postponed by the Franco-Prussian War… The idea was to match Doré's artistic genius with an in-depth view of all segments of London society—the rich and the poor, the common people at work and play, famous sites and slums, nobility and criminals, Many were the days and nights that Doré went in disguise, with undercover policemen for protection, to see parts of London not listed in any tour guide… The result was a book often hailed as the greatest visual expression of the social class struggle ever published" (Malan, 127). "The other day," once wrote Vincent van Gogh, "I saw a complete set of Doré's pictures of London. I tell you it is superb, and noble in sentiment." Malan, 281.
Front inner hinge expertly reinforced, scattered faint marginal foxing, attractive binding about-fine.