London-Paris-Berlin-New York-Montreal: Raphael Tuck & Sons, 1909. Item #01750
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, the companion to the Tuck book of the same title issued in the same year. Quarto (10 1/4 x 7 3/8 in; 262 x 190 mm). 72 pp. Full-color frontispiece (In Catland and what Happens there). Illustrated throughout in mono-color and black & white.
Publisher's pictorial olive green cloth, front cover decorated in red and gray. Neat gift inscription dated "Xmas 1909." A bit of minor rubbing to extremities, otherwise a fantastic copy.
Father Tuck's Golden Gift Series No. 805, similar to Father Tuck's Golden Gift Series No. 817 with same title yet with sufficient differences in illustration, text length (72 pp. versus 48 pp.) and variations, and binding to warrant them being separate editions.
To Nurseryland with Louis Wain; Serve them Right; Kittens from France; When Signor Thomas Warbles; Jack and the Beanstalk; The Bow-Wow Band; The Easy Cat and the Uneasy Cat; Cinderella; Seeing the World; The Kitten and the Goldfish; Robinson Crusoe; A Rough Day; A Strange Tail; The Cat's Quartette; Jack and Jill; The Holiday Catastrophe; Over the Garden Wall; The New Babies; "Let Dogs Delight"; Mamma the Mender; All Work, No Play; The Cats' Cricket Match; Her Mother's Pride; Boo-hoo1 Boo-hoo! What Shall I Do?; The Sleeping Beauty; "A Shilling a yard, did you say?; The New Arrival; Little Miss Muffet; The Tabbies' Tennis Party; Three Little Cats; The Breakfast; The Birthday Cat's Dream; Wonderful, isn't it; Puppies at the Pantomime; The Changed Cats; A Clever Cat; Little Dog [and] Mr. Rover; Good-bye.
The mono-color illustrations: The King of the Castle; Over the Garden Wall; The Author; "Please give me a Penny…"; "How Tiresome it is…"; A Lively Catch; Three Little Kits, They go for a Ride; A Dip in the Sea; A Sudden Shower; A Riding We Will Go; When the Milkman isn't using his Pails for the Milk…; In Trouble; Going to School; Simple Simon; The Portrait Painter; A Merry Load;
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 handled…although 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.