Illustrated by Daniel Maclise. London: Printed for Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, Paternoster-Row, 1846. Quarto. pp. iv, 280. Bound in contemporary full green morocco, covers framed by triple blind fillets with outer fleurons on inner panel. Spine divided into six compartments by five gilt raised bands, title and illustrator in gilt direct in the second and fourth, the remainder tooled with a gilt floral device; fore-edges and turn-ins gilt; water-silk endpapers. Some mild foxing. Spine evenly faded. All edges gilt. A very good copy.
A new edition of Moore’s celebrated work first published in 1846, and one that his artist friend Maclise endeavoured to make a spectacular production, inventing decorative borders for all pages in addition to his numerous illustrations. The illustrious author of the Melodies gave eloquent expression to the delight he felt at seeing these records of his genius enshrined in lineaments as beautiful and imperishable as the songs themselves. By his treatment of illustrations and text as a unit, and the elaboration of detail, Maclise introduced into England the effects achieved by the German illustrators.
This is widely acknowledged to be Maclise’s finest book.
This work has additional engraved plates of Thomas Moore and Daniel Maclise. There is an additional pen and ink title decorated with cherubs, vases, an owl, flowers, shamrocks, with the legend ‘Moore’s Melodies’ illustrated by Maclise to which is subjoined an Appendix containing such specimens of Irish Melody as gave birth successfully to the above named beautiful Ideals of the Poet & the Artist’. The monogram of the artist and the year 1852 at bottom along with Glenarm Castle, Ireland. Facing the additional titlepage within a garland of shamrocks in manuscript is the name Letitia Louise Kerr.
Letitia Louise was the daughter of Vice-Admiral Lord Mark Robert Kerr, an officer of the Royal Navy, the third son of William John Kerr, 5th Marquess of Lothian by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Chichester Fortescue of Dromisken. Kerr served as an officer in the ‘Lion’ with Lord Macartney in his visit to China in 1792, and was present at the capture of Minorca in 1798.
He married in 1799 Charlotte, third daughter of Randal William Macdonnell, sixth Earl, and Marquess of Antrim; she succeeded him as Countess of Antrim (creation of 1785) in her own right on the death of her elder sister. They had a large family, two of their sons succeeding as fourth and fifth Earls of Antrim.