Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Victorian Colour from 1881

I've just found a beautiful children's book with colour illustrations called "At Home", published in 1881. The flyleaf bears this inscription:


I intended to scan no more than half a dozen illustrations, as it's quite time consuming. However, it was impossible to choose. I particularly like these plates as they have no pretensions towards artistic greatness and aren't trying to say anything. They were created for a contemporary audience of young readers and their idealised version of childhood is typical of the period.

Note the Arts and Crafts wallpaper in the third and twelfth plates:














12 comments:

sukipoet said...

simply charming

Brett said...

I love these pictures. Idealised? Maybe so, but I find points of contact from my own middle-class, 1960's childhood: being pressed into the role of Father by my older sister playing house, (plate 2), singing with her for my parents. (plate 7), being left to entertain ourselves outdoors on our own.

Is childhood at all like this anymore?

Anna said...

Ah, but note the look of horror on the face of the boy in the bath in picture three, as his little brother pees up the side of the bath...

Martin H. said...

Perfectly, perfectly charming. What a find.

Lanky1 said...

Does the inscription actually say "For the children of South Park" or am I just hoping it does?
Not sure Cartman would approve though.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Almost as idyllic as Peter and Jane's suburban lifestyle, minus the indoor plumbing.

Mrs Trefusis... said...

how completely gorgeous.

Sam Jordison said...

I want that book! Lovely. I always find Victorian childhood and inscriptions fromm long-dead relatives most haunting... something to do with Tom's Midnight Garden and all those ghost stories, I think.

Steerforth said...

South Park? Now that would be an interesting mashup.

What appeals to me is the sense of quietness - a world without the noise of traffic or television. It all seems very idyllic.

I wonder how many Victorian children experienced a childhood that remotely resembled the world portrayed in these pictures?

wanderingbrook said...

Delightful! I particularly like the one of the girl looking out at the sea.

@Brett: No, it isn't. How many children now are allowed "to stand and stare"?

Cat's Books said...

Those illustrations are so beautiful, I'm so impressed that you managed to scan in so many of them!

gene chew said...

The pictures are just wonderful! I'm going to print them and frame, would look marvellous in the bathroom