CROKER, Thomas Crofton. Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland

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blankCROKER, Thomas Crofton. Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland. Illustrated with wood engravings after designs by W.H. Brooke, Mr. M’Clise, and the author. London, John Murray, 1834. 12mo. pp. vi, [2], 344. Worn half calf over cloth boards, title in gilt on red morocco label on spine. All edges red. Very good. Very scarce. Thomas Crofton Croker (1798-1854) a native of Cork, was one of the most celebrated of Irish antiquaries, folklorists and collector of ancient Irish airs. He had but little education and at 16 was apprenticed to a firm of Cork Quaker merchants. From an early age he showed a great interest in literature and antiquities and between 1812 and 1815 rambled about the south of Ireland collecting the songs, legends, and traditions of the peasantry. He gave some ancient airs to Thomas Moore, who afterwards invited him to England where he further developed in his literary career.
Daniel Maclise (1806-1870), RA, a distinguished artist, was born in Cork and educated at a day school. From an early age he had a great talent to draw, and, after a spell in Newenham’s Bank he was allowed to study art at the Cork Academy. Later he opened a studio in Patrick Street, where he executed small portraits. His progress was rapid, and his first commission was to illustrate Crofton Croker’s ‘Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland’. In 1825 he sketched Sir Walter Scott in a bookshop in Cork and won praise for the portrait. By 1827 he had saved enough money to go to London, where he entered the Royal Academy and won gold and silver medals. He prospered in London, and became a life-long friend of Charles Dickens.

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