[London]: , . Item #05203
Witches and Warlocks, Ghosts, Goblins and Ghouls
RACKHAM, Arthur, artist. "The Lay of St. Aloys" or, Witches and Warlocks, Ghosts Goblins and Ghouls. London, .
A fine, pen ink and watercolor (9 x 6 inches; 228 x 15 mm.) depicting Witches and Warlocks, Ghosts, Goblins and Ghouls with a cat and other characters, with a mountain view in the background. Signed in the lower right-hand corner “A. Rackham”. Matted, framed and glazed.
First published as a black and white drawing, in the 1898 edition of The Ingoldsby Legends, page 465. Now reworked and colored and used as one of the 24 color plates in the 1907 edition (see note below).
The tale of The Lay of St Aloys. A Legend of Blois appeared on pages 391-401 of the 1907 second and best edition of The Ingoldsby Legends or, Mirth & Marvels.
Rackham had recently developed his gift for drawing witches, gnomes, fairies, and anthropomorphized trees and brought them to a pitch of vivid characterization, sometimes with an unsettling frisson of horror" clearly visible in this pen, ink and watercolor.
The Ingoldsby Legends, of 1907, from which Rackham refurbished, re-coloured and partly reworked many of the drawings originally in the 1898 edition of the same work, makes a fascinating comparison with Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland which were published in 1906 and 1907 respectively.
Here Rackham draws a very different picture with a cloaked witch complete with her hair flowing from under her steeple hat and holding her broomstick menacingly with both hands… and in the foreground - several Warlocks, Ghosts, Goblins and Ghouls…
The Cathedral of Blois - Where the Sainted Aloys
Is by this time, you'll find, "left alone in his glory,"
"In the dead of the night," though with labour opprest,
Some "mortals" disdain "the calm blessings of rest;"
Your cracksman, for instance, thinks night-time the best
To break open a door, or the lid of a chest;
And the gipsy who close round your premises prowls,
To ransack your hen-roost, and steal all your fowls,
Always sneaks out at night with the bats and the owls,
- So do Witches and Warlocks, Ghosts, Goblins, and Ghouls,
Who come from the playhouses, "flash-kens," and "hells,"
To pull off people's knockers, and ring people's bells.