[Cruikshank's Fairy Library]. George CRUIKSHANK, artist.
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[Cruikshank's Fairy Library]

London: , 1864. Item #04346

Cruikshank's Publisher's Own Copy of The Fairy Library
With Eight Original Pencil and Watercolor Drawings for 'Jack and the Beanstalk' & 'Puss in Boots'
And All of the Etchings in Proof Inscribed by Cruikshank to his Friend and Publisher Frederick Arnold

CRUIKSHANK, George. [The Fairy Library]. Eight Original Pencil and Watercolor Drawings and A Complete Set of the Thirty-seven Proofs on India Paper of the Twenty-Four Plates in the Series. Each one Inscribed in Pencil: "From Geo. Cruikshank to his friend Fredk. Arnold". [London, ca. 1864].

Folio (11 5/8 x 9 5/8 inches; 295 x 245 mm.). Comprising: Eight original pencil drawings heightened with water-color (average size of drawing 8 3/4 x 6 3/4 inches; 222 x 172 mm.), bound together with a complete set of the twenty-four etching proofs on India paper (average size of proof 6 7/8 x 5 1/4 inches; 175 x x 134 mm.). All leaves mounted on stubs.

Each of the finely drawn and detailed pencil drawings (six from Jack and the Beanstalk and two from Puss In Boots) is mounted opposite its subsequent etching; all 24 etchings are inscribed in pencil by Cruikshank: 'From Geo. Cruikshank to his friend Fredk. Arnold.'

Frederick Arnold (fl. 1862-1874 was George Cruikshank's publisher of the first reissues of the first three volumes of The Fairy Library and the first edition of the fourth volume, Puss in Boots.)

Handsomely bound ca. 1900 by Rivière & Son, stamp-signed in gilt on front turn-in. Full brown morocco, covers ruled in gilt with stylized gilt floral corner-pieces and a large oval center piece of gilt flowers surrounding an acorn which is finely gilt decorated in pointille. Spine with five raised bands, decoratively paneled and elaborately tooled in a similar gilt floral design and lettered in gilt in compartments. Gilt ruled board edges and turn-ins with gilt floral corner pieces, dark green watered silk liners and end-leaves, all edges gilt. Housed in the original? felt-lined, quarter brown morocco over brown cloth clamshell case, spine with five raised bands lettered in gilt in compartments. The binding very fine, the clamshell case very slightly rubbed.

The original pencil and watercolor drawings are:

Jack and the Beanstalk:
1. "Jack, climbing the Bean Stalk"
2. "Jack shows kindness to a poor Old Woman/who turns out to be a Fairy… and,/who gives him the Wonderful Bean
which he sets in the Garden" (triple image drawing with Cruikshank's pencil instructions and captions in the margins).
3. "Jack gets the Golden Key, away from the Giant." (with Cruikshank's additional pencil drawings in lower margins).
4. "Jack and the Fairy Harp, escaping from the Giant. (with Cruikshank's pencil caption and additional drawings).
5. "The Fairies tie the Giant, up in the Bean Stalk." (with Cruikshank's pencil caption and additional drawings).
6. "Jack brings the giant prisoner to King Alfred." (with Cruikshank's pencil caption and additional drawings).
Puss In Boots:
1. "Tom Puss commands the Respers to tell the King that All the fields, belong to -
the most noble, the Marquess of Carabas." (with Cruikshank's pencil instructions additional drawings in the margins).
2. 'tom Puss telling the King that his Master - the Marquess of Carabas, is in the River!"

George Cruikshank’s Fairy Library consists of four stories; Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Hop o’ my Thumb and the Seven League Boots, and Puss in Boots. First published, London: D. Bogue / Routledge, Warne & Routledge, [1853], [1854], [1854], [1864]. Cruikshank was already a distinguished caricaturist and illustrator of books for children and adults when he produced this work.

His illustrations for the first English translation of Grimm’s Fairy Tales were praised widely, but his own rewriting of the fairy tales was criticized, most prominently by Charles Dickens. This was not due to the quality of the illustrations, but because, in line with his temperance beliefs, Cruikshank rewrote aspects of the fairy tales to warn the reader against the evils of alcohol. Thus, for instance, the preparations for Cinderella’s marriage include the court throwing all alcohol in the palace on a bonfire; and in Jack and the Beanstalk, the giant is an alcoholic. Dickens, a friend of Cruikshank, was outraged at what he considered to be a betrayal of the essence of fairy tales and, in protest he published an essay in his weekly magazine Household Words entitled Frauds on the Fairies in protest (1853).

The Fairy Library was not well-received by Cruikshank's close friend, Charles Dickens. Cruikshank (who wrote the text) in his alcohol abstinence zeal had turned these classic stories into temperance tracts. Dickens, in the October 1, 1853 issue of Household Words, wrote a review, Frauds on Fairies, that harshly criticized Cruikshank for "propagating the doctrines of Total Abstinance, Prohibition... Free Trade, and Popular Education" (Patten II, p. 339).

Yet "so even in Hop and the two stories that followed in the Fairy Library, the illustrations continue to evoke magic kingdoms while the prose cranks out diatribes" (ibid). Later, in 1864, when Routledge wished to continue the series with Puss In Boots, Cruikshank did so "purged of teetotal maxims" (ibid,. p. 387)

After the financial failure of 1851, or, The Adventures of Mr. and Mrs. Sandboys, who came up to London... Cruikshank decided to resume fairy tale illustrations…

"Cruikshank's reason for returning to fairy tales was a good deal more pragmatic. He needed money, and since his illustrations for the Brothers Grimm and other nursery favorites had earned him both a reputation and some shillings, he decided to revive those earlier subjects. This time, however, since no authorial collaborator was available, Cruikshank elected to write, embellish, and publish a series of fairy tales all on his own. He approached David Bogue with this proposition in the autumn of 1852; between them they arranged for the artist to receive advances against receipts to cover the cost of "editing" the texts and etching the plates, and for the publisher to make periodic accountings of each title as it was printed and sold. By May of the next year, however, Cruikshank was anticipating his income to such an extent that even before the plates for the first volume, Hop o' my Thumb and the Seven League Boots, were completed he was overdrawn... Cruikshank finished Hop around the first of June 1853... The next two volumes in the Fairy Library [The History of Jack & The Beanstalk and Cinderella and the Glass Slipper] were duly issued in 1854...

During the next few years, Cruikshank's relationship with Bogue deteriorated "but the Bogue connection was shortly to terminate, precipitating a further crises. After Bogue's death in 1856 the executors charged Cruikshank with a very large sum, representing his share of the debts incurred by the partnership that had produced 1851, or, The Adventures of Mr. and Mrs. Sandboys, who came up to London... and was published in eight parts by David Bogue, between February and September in 1851. At the time the novel was serializing, Cruikshank had told his publisher he was withdrawing as co-proprietor. Whether this was in fact possible solely as the result of a verbal declaration, whether Cruikshank already owed money on the losing numbers, or whether Bogue simply misunderstood or forgot, the accounts showed that 1851 lost a great deal of money for which the partners were still liable. When Cruikshank, deeply dismayed, protested that he was quite unable to meet any payment, Mrs. Bogue, out of respect for the long friendship canceled the claim."

In the summer of 1862 "there was a little flurry about the Fairy Library illustrations, which a Mr. Astes proposed reproducing, possibly on song heads. "I should most decidedly object to this gentleman, (Mr. Astes), or any one else, making copies in any way - for if so, they would most likely have wood cuts of them done, to put upon their advertising bills - or others would copy them, from [for?] their painted panoramas... and as to putting the song with it and making it a sixpenny affair [that] is of course quite out of the question. This contretemps was negotiated by George Bell, who had evidently purchased some of Bogue's copyrights and stocks and had the year before helped Cruikshank to sell to Tweedie those for The Bottle and The Drunkard's Children - "not that he wants to have the latter," Cruikshank reported, "but I told him they must go together." Tweedie also offered, apparently unsuccessfully, for a half share in the Fairy Library. In September 1862 Cruikshank finally negotiated a settlement with Bogue's estate: Frederick Arnold, "who wishes to be my publisher in future," advanced the money for property held by Bogue's executors as security. As soon as Arnold had, through reissues, recouped his purchase price, or whenever Cruikshank paid him directly for these advances, the copy rights and stock would revert to the artist; in the meantime, Cruikshank retained "the right of giving the written orders for any reprint of Plates Blocks - or Letterpress." Little more than a year later the Fairy Library was reissued jointly by Arnold and Routledge, with the addition of the hitherto unpublished fourth story Puss in Boots (purged of teetotal maxims) and a succession of afterwords by Cruikshank about his original intentions for the series and about it's initial reception..." Robert L. Patten, George Cruikshank's Life, Times, and Art Volume II; 1835-1878 pp. 334, 387/8.

See Cohn 196-199.

This fine collection appeared at auction at Sotheby's New York, April 11th 1978, lot 22. It fetched $6,700 at that time.

(ABPC: Cruikshank, George, 1792-1878 - Original drawings, (8) sketches for plates in the Fairy Library series. With proofs on india paper of the 24 plates in the series, mounted, all inscribed. Bound in morocco by Rivière. - Sotheby's New York, April 11, 1978, lot 22, $6,700).

Price: $21,500.00