New York & London: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1895. Item #04832
Arthur Rackham's Personal Copy from the Publisher's
Both Volumes Signed by Arthur Rackham
[RACKHAM, Arthur, illustrator]. IRVING, Washington. Tales of a Traveller… New York & London: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1895.
Arthur Rackham's personal copy from his publisher.
Inscribed in volume I on front free endpaper "Arthur Rackham / from the publishers / on publication." and in volume II on front blank Arthur Rackham. / from the publisher / when published".
Buckthorne Edition. Two octavo volumes (8 3/4 x 6 1/8 inches; 222 x 152 mm.). viii, 316; viii, 312 pp. Decorative borders throughout printed in pink and gray. Twenty-five full-page, half-tone plates by various artists of which five are by Arthur Rackham, all plates with tissue guards lettered in red. Partially uncut. Seven of the eleven plates in volume II have an 'unexplained' waterstain in the margin of the lower left-hand corner, otherwise fine
Publisher's light blue cloth over beveled boards. Front covers and spines with elaborate pictorial stamping in gold and dark green, lettered in black, plain end-papers, top edges gilt. Near fine.
"During his period on the Westminster Budget and Gazette, Arthur Rackham began to diversify. It was at this time that his first books appeared, and between investigating Carlyle and Gladstone for the Gazette, he produced four illustrations for Washington Irving's The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent … In 1895 and 1896 he contributed, with others, illustrations to two more books by Washington Irving, Tales of a Traveller and Bracebridge Hall, beginning a relationship with an author's work which he was to bring to classic status in 1905 with his illustrations to Rip Van Winkle. (James Hamilton. Arthur Rackham A Biography, p. 40).
Tales of a Traveller, by Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (1824) is a collection of essays and short stories written by Washington Irving. It was written while Irving was living in Europe, primarily in Germany and Paris, and was published under his Geoffrey Crayon pseudonym.
The illustrations by Arthur Rackham:
"The old hall echoed to bursts of robustious fox-hunting merriment, that made the ancient antlers shake on the walls"
(facing p. 14)
"He unexpectedly put his head out of his study window, and put a stop to our rehearsals" (facing p. 266)
"The little antiquary among the robber gang in the mountain inn" (frontispiece)
"To stalk solemnly on to deliver his soliloquy with a dish-clout pinned to his skirts" (facing p. 20)
"They closed with one another and a desperate struggle ensued" (facing p. 176)
Riall, p. 14; Hamilton, p.40.