One of the great unconsciously hilarious books of the nineteenth century. My first copy was a huge pile of the publication in its original parts. I paid eight pounds for the ownership, and at no stage in its career was it valued at more than ten pence. I have used the Dover supplemented edition for these scans, the original illustrated Bible by Dore (1866) having long gone to the recycling bin. There are several books of great distinction I can remember possessing but which gave me greater pleasure to dump.

Dore naturally reflects the French academic compositions of his day, Gericault and Delaroche in particular. He uses Dalziel's Bible as a clear source of compositional study. Rubens lurks in the background of many visualisations of Biblical texts.

Over and over again he consults his copies of Martin's mezzotints to Paradise Lost. But the teetering on the edge of the Grotesque is clearly the man himself, his fragmentation of the Human Body into froth and chunkd, a scarcely concealed anality, unusually applied to the Holy Bible. Only when he reaches the New Testyament does he (understandably) run out of steam, see Gallery Two.