LONDON TOWN 1883 selected plates
THE TITLEPAGE; THE BRITISH MUSEUM; THE UNDERGROUND RAILWAY; THE CROSSING SWEEPER; LOWTHER ARCADE; THE DUSTMAN IS COMING
ABROAD selected plates
CROSSING THE CHANNEL; ROUEN,EGLISE D' OUEN; ARRIVAL AT CAEN; EN ROUTE TO PARIS/TUILERIES GARDEN; MUSEE DE CLUNY; JARDIN D'ACCLIMATISATION; MERRY GO ROUND/ TO CALAIS; PORTE DE LA MER/ HOMEWARD BOUND
The family - Nellie, May, Rose, Dennis, Bertie.
I recommend this for your study. It is not the entire book because you should buy your own.It is not expensive. The production is unusual because it is a team production, the young illustrator Ellen Houghton and the illustrator and designer Thomas Crane, brother of Walter. Exactly who was responsible for the ludicrous verse, I do not know. I do love the line,"Active apes that climb up sticks..." (Lowther Arcade)
Of course the production could look uncomfortably between Walter Crane and Kate Greenaway, but has its own integrity, rooted clearly in the present and always looking for the heroism of modern life, albeit experienced by some insipid moppets. What makes it special, I hear you cry?
The ingenuity of the double page spreads clearly reflects Walter Crane's own Toy Books, and the clear, pale colour scheme and excellent printing, the influence of Edward Evans. The pages are sometimes conventional symmetrical panels, with ingenious decorative infill. The Musem pages have interiors flanked with flats patterns of artifacts. The spatial complexities of the architecture, and the rooms they occupy are very well designed, with an emphasis on stairs and upper floors with stair rails and steps. Noteworthy is the emphasis on the designed sign - the painted directional sign, and in the Jardin pages, the actual entrance tickets embedded in the design. Marvellous. Notice also the volume of Continental Bradshaw concealed in the Journey Home page on the railway.
There is a deliberate policy of making of making direct visual comparisons in the two books. The Abroad set the pattern in 1882 and London Town the next year. Churches, Museums and Zoos. But also Punch and Judy variants.
They couldn't resist a few sly digs at the hosts on the continent. The portrait of Monsieur Le Maitre as grovelling oily foreigner is unkind. The railway signaller is only there because her husband was too lazy to get up to discharge his duties. see also Dickie Doyle's Foreign Tour of Brown Jones and Robinson.