Shadow and Substance

The Shadow of Your Smile...Looks Like A Monkey
A Fine First Edition in Book Form, With Hand-Colored Plates

BENNETT, Charles H. and Robert B. Brough. Shadow and Substance. London: W. Kent & Co. (Late D. Bogue), 1860.

First edition in book form. Octavo (8 3/8 x 5 1/4 in; 213 x 133 mm). [8], 232 pp. Thirty hand-colored plates, including frontispiece.

Bound c. 1875 by E. Riley & Son (stamp-signed) of London in full tan calf with French fillets and gilt corner pieces, gilt decorated compartments and green and burgundy morocco spine labels. Floral and foliate gilt-tooled dentelles. All edges gilt. With the armorial bookplate of John Croft Deverell, a British mortgage loan magnate. A fine copy.

Originally published as thirty-six plates without text in 1857, and in the next year serialized with Brough's text accompanying thirty of the original thirty-six illustrations by Kent & Co. in ten parts in nine issues, 1858-60. "The work originated with the artist [i.e. Bennett]--the writer's [i.e. Brough's] share of it being ... accessorial and supplementary" (Original preface, p. [5] of Part One, not reprinted here). Robert B. Bough (1828-1860) wrote twenty-eight of the thirty sketches, including "L'Envoi," the verse addressed to Bennett that concludes the book and is signed "R.B.B." Journalist H. Sutherland Edwards (1828-1906) a friend of Bennett, wrote two sketches, one signed with full name, the other with initials.

A delightful and quite unusual fictional satire based on the pretext that Bennett's unique magic lantern produced shadow-portraits that reflected the substance of the sitter's character, i.e. Hickory B. Nutt, Esq.'s vupine shadow is that, indeed, of a very foxy fellow. Each of the fictional characters' shadow is that of the animal within, to comic effect. The result was novel and quite amusing and as a result "Bennett achieved wide popularity with his Shadows..." (Houfe).

The book is comprised of sheets from the original serial. The plates in the original (w/o text) and the serial issue (with text) were not hand-colored; it was not economically feasible to do so. Book-format copies that are hand-colored are scarce: the thirty-three copies in institutional holdings are in black and white; OCLC typically notes whether illustrations are in color and makes no reference to hand-colored plates. Of the handful that have come to auction within the last thirty-six years, all have had condition issues and only half were hand-colored.

Charles Henry Bennett (1828-1867), illustrator and caricaturist, was apparently untrained yet was already contributing to the illustrated press by 1855, ultimately working for The Comic Times, Comic News, Illustrated Times, and Punch. He rose to fame for his illustrations to The Fables of Aesop (1857), and illustrated childrens books, including The Sad History of Greedy Jim and All His Brothers (1858), The Book of Blockheads (1863), and the Sorrowful Ending of Noodledoo (1864). In 1859, Charles Kingsley sponsored him to provide illustrations to an edition of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, the results commanding the respect of a broad literary circle.

Binder Edward Riley and his son, Robert, were active 1857-1880 at 19 Woburn Buildings, W.C., assuming the former premises of binder A.G. Furber. At Edward's death in 1881 Robert continued the bindery's operation until 1901.

Cf. Allibone, Supplement I, p. 219, (serial issue). Item #02239

Out of stock