The Brush has beat the Poetry! Illustrations to Lord Byron's Works.

BYRON George Gordon Noel, Lord.  (2016.)


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Small 4to. XII, 136pp. [Text: 206 x 165 mm]. Bound in green cloth, the covers blocked with a gilt panel with a gilt initial "B" with a baron's coronet in an oval cartouche in the centre; spine blocked and lettered in gilt; based on the original binding of c. 1822.

London: [by Smith Settle, West Yorkshire] for presentation to the Roxburghe 

Privately printed for John Murray VII for presentation to the 41 members of The Roxburghe Club, the most distinguished club of bibliophiles founded in 1812. 100 copies only are available for public sale.


"Still in the archives at 50 Albemarle Street, where for over two hundred years the Murray family lived and carried on their publishing business, is a unique seven-volume edition of Byron's works. It dates from 1820-22, is bound in green morocco with fine crimson silk doublures and - most importantly - it is the first edition of the poet's work to be illustrated. Also surprising is that this edition seems top consist of one copy." (Preface).


The 1820-22 edition is illustrated with 23 engravings after Richard Westall R.A.(1765-1836) and 12 after Thomas Stothard R.A. (1755-1834). Stothard's original designs were destroyed in the bombing of Holland House in 1940 but 21 of William Westall's beautiful original watercolours (plus one of Childe Harold that was not used) survive in the Murray archive at Albemarle Street. All are reproduced along with their engraved plates and with the engraved plates after Stothard together with the relevant passages from Byron's poems.


The illustrated introduction discusses John Murray's friendship with Lord Byron, the life and works of the two artists, and includes extracts from the prickly correspondence between Murray and Charles Heath, the principal engraver commissioned to reproduce Westall's designs.


"This is the first illustrated book of its kind to be produced about Byron, enabling us to see his work in a fresh light through the eyes of two outstanding illustrators." (Preface).


ISBN 978 1 5272 0122 4

Stock Code: 230576

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