The Man With Cats in the Belfry
Takes Asylum in Nursery Land
WAIN, Louis. To Nursery Land with Louis Wain. Edited by Edric Vrendenburg. Profusely Illustrated in Colour and Black and White. With Verses by Clifton Bingham, S.K. Cowan, etc. etc. London-Paris-Berlin-New York-Montreal: Raphael Tuck & Sons, n.d. .
First edition. Quarto (10 1/4 x 7 3/8 in; 262 x 190 mm). Illustrated throughout in color and black & white.
Publisher's pictorial cloth. A bit of minor rubbing to extremities, otherwise a fantastic copy.
"Father Tuck's Golden Gift Series No. 805."
At the end of the last century, Louis Wain (1860-1939), the Edwardian cat artist who went mad, became a household name as an illustrator of cats, whom he depicted in all sorts of activities, from skating and playing cricket to driving motor cars, attending dances, and playing musical instruments. "He invented a cat style, a cat society, a whole cat world. English cats that do not look like Louis Wain cats are ashamed of themselves" (H.G. Wells).
"From 1883, Wain began to draw cats as they had never been drawn before, cats in humorous guises, in human situations, but always beautifully handledÖalthough he was sometimes forced to draw dogs before he became well-known!" (Houfe, The Dictionary of British Book Illustrators and Caricaturists 1800-1914).
Publisher Raphael Tuck (1821-1900), from Germany, came to London in 1870 and shortly established himself as a fine art publisher. "...he saw the opportunity to move into the children's book market with volumes of high pictorial quality and outstanding production...Tuck's books were colourful and imaginative, catered for young and old alike, and covered topics ranging from ancient myths to contemporary events...On his retirement in 1882 he handed the business over to his three sons" (Haining, Moveable Books, pp. 36-37), who continued the firm's tradition of children's books of the highest quality.
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