In my post ‘Not Done With Pickwick’ I featured Frank Reynolds’s colour plates from Hodder & Stoughton’s publication. For a similar reason I scanned a batch of this artist’s work on ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’.
My copy is the limited edition of 1913, signed by the artist: No. 112 of 350. This is not what booksellers would call a fine example.
Although it is vellum bound, it lacks its silk ties and is rather grubby and a bit warped on the outside. These end-papers would probably have been repeated at the back of the book, but seem to have been replaced by blank sheets at a later date. The illustrations are pristine and remain protected by the original tissue.
‘THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP’
‘DICK SWIVELLER AND SOPHY WACKLES’
‘KIT AND HIS MOTHER”
‘SAMPSON BRASS AND QUILP’
‘MESSRS CODLIN AND SHORT’
Frank Reynolds’s exquisite paintings speak for themselves. Clicking on each of these individual illustrations will reveal the lines of text to which they apply.
I paused here so that we could go for a forest drive, and will take up the task again tomorrow.
We began with a visit to Shallowmead Garden Centre where Jackie had seen an owl on her last visit that she could not resist. She just had to go back and buy it. For some reason she came out of the shop with three.
Cattle on the road slightly impeded our departure from Norleywood.
Several calves crossed a stream to join the adults and they all set off down the road, making me hope any driver coming round the bend would have their wits about them.
Donkeys on the road approaching East End tempted me out of the car.
This enabled me to investigate the woodland with its reflective pools;
its mossy banks, fallen trees, and fungus on a mossy stump.
Bare branches were silhouetted against the changing skies;
catkins swung from others.
While I was occupied with this, Jackie noticed that the donkeys may have been returning home for dinner.
The skies, constantly changing, beamed over Beaulieu.
This evening we dined on more of Jackie’s flavoursome sausages in red wine; creamy mashed potatoes; crunchy carrots, and firm Brussels sprouts, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Malbec.