ALLINGHAM, William & DOYLE, Richard: In Fairy – Land: A Series of Pictures from the Elf World.
With a poem, by William Allingham. London & Sydney: The Bodley Head, 1981. Folio. Facsimile edition reproduced from The Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books, Toronto Public Library, by Holp Shuppan, Publishers, Tokyo, 1981. Printed in Japan. Folio. pp. , 31. 16 leaves of plates. Green gilt stamped cloth, spine and upper cover with gilt design. Sixteen superbly colour- printed plates by Edmund Evans. All edges gilt. Superb copy in slipcase.
Richard Doyle was the son of the Irish born political caricaturist John Doyle (“H.B.”). His brother was Henry Doyle, first Director of the National Gallery of Ireland, and he was the uncle of Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes. Richard Doyle has been described by Maurice Sendak as “probably the best of them all. He has all the accoutrements of the Victorian illustrator…one of the better draughtsmen…cleverest mind … most gorgeous senseof colour…a fantastic imagination.”
Ruari McLean in Victorian Book Design states that In Fairyland is Richard Doyle’s masterpiece, containing “some of the most entrancing children’s book illustrations ever made.” As Gordon N. Ray expresses it: “Looking within himself, Doyle found a fantastic but consistently imagined world in which fairies and elves live in the open air among birds, butterflies, snails, and beetles as large as themselves.”Unusually, the pictures came first: Allingham was commissioned by the publishers in 1869 to write verses to accompany Doyle’s series of pictures.
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