Ingoldsby Legends, The; Mirth & Marvels. Illustrated by Arthur Rackham

The Ingoldsby Legends Illustrated by Arthur Rackham
In a Beautiful Inlaid Binding By Chris Lewis

[BAYNTUN-RIVIERE, binders]. [RACKHAM, Arthur, artist]. INGOLDSBY, Thomas (pseudonym of Richard Harris Barham). The Ingoldsby Legends. Mirth & Marvels. Illustrated by Arthur Rackham. London / New York: J.M. Dent / E.P. Dutton, 1907.

Second trade edition, and the best, with illustrations not found in the much smaller first trade edition of 1898. Tall octavo (9 1/4 x 7 1/8 in; 235 x 180 mm). xix, [1], 549, [1] pp. Twenty-four full color tipped-in plates with captioned tissue guards, twelve full-page tinted plates, unmounted. Sixty-six black and white drawings.

Bound by Bayntun-Riviere, c. 1960 in full dark red morocco and finished by Chris Lewis with a large central pictorial onlay of multi-colored morocco reproducing the plate opposite page 140, If Anyone Lied, or If Any One Swore., within a gilt frame with large cornerpieces. Gilt decorated compartments. Gilt rolled edges. GIlt rolled turn-ins with gilt cornerpieces. All edges gilt. A very fine copy. Housed in a later custom drop-back clamshell box.

The Ingoldsby Legends were first printed during 1837 as a regular series of Richard Bentley's magazine, Bentley's Miscellany, and later in New Monthly Magazine. The legends were illustrated by John Leech and George Cruikshank. They proved immensely popular and were compiled into books published during 1840, 1842 and 1847 by Richard Bentley. They remained popular during the 19th century.

The illustrations for this volume proved a turning point in Rackham's life. "In 1898, which was to be a watershed year for Rackham, Dent invited him to produce one hundred black and white illustrations for R.H. Barham's quaintly medievalizing poems and stories The Ingoldsby Legends of Mirth and Marvels. The £150 fee for this important commission bought, in addition, ownership of the originals and copyright.…[The] episodic nature and superficial, rollicking humour [of the tales] were well suited to Rackham's talents, presenting him with endless opportunities to exercise his talent for the macabre and the inventive, the fantastic and the knockabout comic" (Hamilton, Arthur Rackham. A Biography, p. 49).

The great Christopher Lewis began his career at the internationally renowned Bayntun-Riviere Bindery of Bath, England, during the early 1960s as a finisher. In the 1970s, he established his own bindery and further developed his masterful inlay and gilt work.

Lattimore and Haskell p. 30-31. Item #01953

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