- Stroud: Catalpa Press, 1983.
- tall 8vo.
- 205, (11) pages.
Price: $20.00 other currencies
Order Nr. 64379
First edition. Volume 2 in The Artist and the Critic Series. Fine in fine jacket.
The book illustrations and paintings of Richard Doyle (1824-1883) are populated by sprightly visions of fairy nymphs, elves and knights in search of their fair damsels. As `Dickey Doyle' and later `Dick Kitcat,' he produced a series of impressive boyhood triumphs from the now famous DICK DOYLE'S JOURNAL of 1840 to his first published work, THE EGLINTON TOURNAMENT. Doyle's talent for fantasy with pen and ink attracted Mr. Punch who offered him a place on his staff at age 19. There, alongside John Leech, he produced a seven year output of inimitable grotesques, borders, a new PUNCH cover, parodies of social events and the American Gold Rush, and his one overwhelming popular success, `The Foreign Tour of Brown, Jones and Robinson.'
All seemed set for a lifetime of success at PUNCH until the paper attacked the Pope and the Catholic Church, deeply upsetting Doyle's Catholic upbringing. He resigned in 1850 and turned his back on a comfortable future for the uncertain life of the freelance illustrator and painter. This he pursued with half-hearted dedication for the remaining 33 years of his life. This important reference book has been compiled from much unpublished material, including delightful boyhood letters Doyle wrote to his father and letters to famous friends like Dickens, Thackeray and Rossetti. It contains the first complete list of Doyle's illustrations for books and magazines and a list of his paintings. From the reference library of Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts with their bookplate included.