Windsor Castle. An Historical Romance; By W. Harrison Ainsworth, Esq. New edition. Illustrated by George Cruikshank and Tony Johannot, with designs on wood by W. Alfred Delamotte.

Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and Herne the Hunter
William Harrison Ainsworth's Windsor Castle
In the Original Eleven Parts with Fourteen Fine Etched Plates by George Cruikshank

AINSWORTH, William Harrison. Windsor Castle. An Historical Romance. By W. Harrison Ainsworth, Esq. New edition. Illustrated by George Cruikshank and Tony Johannot, with designs on wood by W. Alfred Delamotte. London: Henry Colburn, 1844 [i.e. 1848].

First [New] edition in the original eleven parts as issued.

Octavo (9 3/8 x 5 15/16 inches; 238 x 151 mm.). xii, 324 pp. Etched pictorial title-page by W. Alfred Delamotte, etched portrait of Ainsworth by Daniel Maclise, fourteen etched plates by George Cruikshank, four by Tony Johannot and eighty-seven fine woodcuts in the text by W. Alfred Delamotte. Complete with the advertisements in part I (2 pp.) and part III (8 pp.).

Original pale yellow wrappers pictorially decorated in black. Early ink signature on front wrapper of part one.
A spectacular set, fine and untouched. Chemised in a half brown morocco pull-off case.

"First issued in blue cloth with gilt design, and later the colour of the cloth was changed to red. Issued in eleven numbers about the same period, but the date on the title was changed to 1844." (Cohn).

Windsor Castle is an historical historical romance with gothic elements that depicts Henry VIII's pursuit of Anne Boleyn. Intertwined with the story are the actions of Herne the Hunter, a legendary ghost that haunts Windsor woods. The first mention of Windsor Castle comes in a letter to Crossley 17 November 1841: "I am just now finishing Old St. Paul's and am consequently very busy… I have made all arrangements to start my Magazine at Christmas next, and have engaged Tony Johannot (the artist), who is now at work for me... Windsor Castle, of course, forms the main feature of the design, and I propose commencing the story with Henry the Eighth entering into the Castle on the morning of St. George's Day, 1529, attended by Anne Boleyn and the Cardinals Wosley and Campeggio. I intend making Lord Surrey the hero of the story. what say you?"

Ainsworth wrote Windsor Castle in 1842 while he was publishing The Miser's Daughter. During this time, he was constantly working to publish the novel by April, and Ainsworth only stopped when his mother, Ann Ainsworth, died on 15 March 1842. John Forster wrote to Ainsworth following the death of Ann to offer assistance with the work: "I imagine that you will defer the Windsor Castle this month -- but should you not do so, I might be of some assistance to you. I have all my Henry VIII books here, and if you told me some particular thing you wanted – it may be horrible conceit – but somehow I think I might be of some beggarly service to you. At all events, in that or lesser matters, try if for old affection's sake you can discover anything for me to do for you". After declining the service of Forster, it was first published in a serialized form in the Ainsworth's Magazine starting July 1842 and ending in June 1843. There was some overlap with The Miser's Daughter, and George Cruikshank, illustrator of The Miser's Daughter later became illustrator of Windsor Castle after the prior work finished. It was published by Henry Colburn as a three-decker novel in 1843. Windsor Castle was re-issued in one volume in 1848. The parts issue, as here, appeared around the same time. During the initial publication of Windsor Castle, over 30,000 copies were sold and the work was in high demand. The novel was adapted into a play called Herne the Hunter, with a focus on the particular section dealing with the title character in the original novel.

Cohn, 19. Item #03444

Out of stock

See all items by