London: Westminster Gazette, 1894. Item #02921
The Scarce First Issue
of the First Book Entirely Illustrated by Rackham
Signed by the Author on Title-Page
[RACKHAM, Arthur, illustrator]. HOPE, Anthony. The Dolly Dialogues. Reprinted from the Westminster Gazette. London: Westminster Gazette, 1894.
First edition, the scarce first issue (July 1894) with "Dolly" as running headline and "price one shilling" at the extreme lower right corner; subsequent issues have "The Dolly Dialogues" as running headline and the price location shifted upward. Small octavo (7 3/16 x 5 9/16 in; 182 x 142 mm). 111, (1, blank) pp. Four black and white illustrated plates in half-tone by Rackham at pp. 32, 42, 82, 104.
Yellow pictorial wrappers, blue lettering and illustration. Mild wear and soiling to wrappers, especially on spine. The title-page is signed in black ink "Anthony Hope Hawkins". An excellent copy.
Only two copies of the first issue have come to auction within the last thirty-five years: The first had chipping, the second lacked the backstrip.
"The stories that make up 'The Dolly Dialogues' were published in the Westminster Gazette from Oct. 1893 to June 1894 and were not illustrated. In July 1894 they were collected and issued as the Westminster Gazette Library - Vol 1, with 4 no. illustrations by Rackham, and this is the first book wholly illustrated by him" (Riall).
"Rackham had already illustrated several titles which are much sought after by collectors...The four pictures in The Dolly Dialogues are in the semi-photograhic style in heavy line and wash..." (Gettings, p. 102). According to Hamilton's biography, Rackham used his younger sister, Winifred, as model for the cover illustration.
Sir Anthony Hope Hawkins, better known as Anthony Hope (9 February 1863 – 8 July 1933), was an English novelist and playwright. He was a prolific writer, especially of adventure novels but he is remembered best for The Prisoner of Zenda (1894) and its sequel Rupert of Hentzau (1898). These works, "minor classics" of English literature, are set in the contemporaneous fictional country of Ruritania and spawned the genre known as Ruritanian romance. Zenda has inspired many adaptations, most notably the 1937 Hollywood movie of the same name.
Riall, p. 2. Latimore and Haskell, pp. 1-2.