London: Hodder and Stoughton, . First trade edition. Publisher's elaborately gilt pictorial tan cloth boards with blue borders decorated in gilt, spine decoratively lettered in gilt, top edge stained red. Engraved bookplate on front paste-down, neat, early ink inscription on front free endpaper. Spine very slightly darkened, small black stain on lower cover, minimal rubbing to extremities, otherwise a near fine copy. Large quarto (10 15/16 x 8 7/16 inches; 277 x 214 mm). Seventy-eight unpaginated leaves. Ten tipped-in color plates on heavy stock within gilt printed frames with captioned tissue guards. Nineteen mounted color plates as headpieces, decorations and line drawings printed in blue.
Among the most glorious of illustrated books produced during the Golden Age of Illustration, complete with all seventy-five quatrains. Illustrator René Bull (1872-1942) was born in Dublin to a French mother and an English father. He went to Paris to study engineering but veered into an artistic career after meeting and taking drawing lessons from the French satirist and political cartoonist Caran d'Ache (Emmanuel Poiré). Bull returned to Ireland to contribute sketches and political cartoons to various publications. Moving to London in 1892, Bull drew for Illustrated Brits and created cartoons Pick-Me-Up from 1893. Here, he illustrates what is arguably the most influential and oft-quoted poem of the Victorian era -- a work regaining popularity today for its beauty and insight. (Item #3579)