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Tony Grist

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Books I've Owned Since I was A Kid. Part 4. [Aug. 16th, 2010|11:36 am]
Tony Grist

Knowles' book is essentially a precis of Malory, with bits of Geoffery of Monmouth thrown in. He came to be a friend of Tennyson's (on the strength of dedicating this book to him) and (being an architect as well as a man of letters) built Alford- the house on Black Down in Sussex where Tennyson retreated during the summer months to escape the admirers who flocked round his other house on the Isle of Wight. Alford was one of the first houses anywhere with hot running water- and Tennyson got into the habit of taking three or four baths a day.

The rather gorgeous pictures are by Lancelot Speed-  who was not only a prolific illustrator but also a pioneering film maker- responsible for such early animations as The Wonderful Adventures of Pip, Squeak and Wilfred.

[User Picture]From: chiller
2010-08-16 11:20 am (UTC)
I inherited - as a child - all my grandparents' children's books when I went to live with his parents. The quality of the colour plates and the style of the illustrations (of which your example above is perfectly representative), from around the 1880s to the late 1930s are just a joy, all informed by the late pre-Raphaelites and Art Nouveau. There isn't anything comparable now in terms of cracking a book of text open and stumbling across an illustration. I wonder how expensive, relatively speaking, those books were at the time?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-08-16 12:52 pm (UTC)
This particular book has no publication date in it, but I aquired it, new, in the late 1950s. Everything about it (apart from the plates) suggests it was a cheap reprint.

Lancelot Speed was born in 1860 and died in 1931.
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[User Picture]From: chiller
2010-08-16 12:53 pm (UTC)
All the best people were alive then.
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