The Moxon Tennyson: A Landmark in Victorian Illustration-Series in Victorian Studies by Simon Cooke


ISBN 978-0-8214-2426-1
Retail price: $80.00
Release date: January 2021
81 illus. · 254 pages · 7 × 10 in

The Lady of Shalott by William Holman-Hunt

Engraved by the Dalziels /J. Thompson, 1857, Wood engraving

A new perspective on a book that transformed Victorian illustration into a stand-alone art.

Edward Moxon’s 1857 edition of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s Poems dramatically redefined the relationship between images and words in print. Cooke’s study, the first book to address the subject in over 120 years, presents a sweeping analysis of the illustrators and the complex and challenging ways in which they interpreted Tennyson’s poetry. This book considers the volume’s historical context, examining in detail the roles of publisher, engravers, and binding designer, as well as the material difficulties of printing its fine illustrations, which recreate the effects of painting. Arranged thematically and reproducing all the original images, the chapters present a detailed reappraisal of the original volume and the distinctive culture that produced it.

Simon Cooke is the editor for book illustration and design on Victorian Web. He is the author of Illustrated Periodicals of the 1860s and coeditor of two collections of essays. He has published on Victorian book art, Gothic, Sensationalism, and the Pre-Raphaelites.

I've been reading my review copy from publishers Ohio University Press. It's a beautiful edition and seeing the gorgeous illustrations from all the illustrators not just the well-known Pre-Raphaelite painters has reminded me of the beauty of Tennyson's poems. It makes me want to sit down and read his beautiful words over and over again.

Stay tuned for my upcoming review.  I just wanted to post this for anyone who might want to request  a review copy or purchase it. Please know that it is expensive though.

If you are in the United Kingdom,  Waterstones

If you are in the United States,  Ohio University Press


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