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362 pages | 7 x 10 | 165 illus.
Cloth 1990 | ISBN 9780812281842 | Buy from De Gruyter $79.95 | €69.95 | £70.50
Ebook 2017 | ISBN 9781512803228 | Buy from De Gruyter $79.95 | €69.95 | £70.50
This book is available under special arrangement from our European publishing partner De Gruyter.
An Anniversary Collection volume
In 1753 Robert Dodsley published Designs by Mr. R. Bentley, for Six Poems by Mr. T. Gray. Sponsored by Horace Walpole, this luxurious quarto was the first major aesthetic expression of the Strawberry Hill circle and a landmark in English book illustration. Kenneth Clarke called it "the most graceful monument to Gothic Rococo." Its witty interplay between illustration and text anticipated Blake, who studied it some thirty years later. Among its poems is Gray's famous Elegy Written in a Courtly Church-Yard.
Loftus Jestin offers a facsimile of Designs (out of print since 1786) and a full-length interdisciplinary study of the collaboration of Bentley, Gray, and Walpole that produced this extraordinary book. He shows the way poems and illustration at once complement, compete with and invigorate each other, and he examines Strawberry Hill. Walpole's house at Twickenham, where Bentley's genius flourished. He also considers the interplay of the sister arts in the work of Hogarth, Kent, and Pine, and surveys the tastes, friendships, economics, and politics that helped shape the development of Bentley's book illustrations.
Loftus Jestin is Professor Emeritus of English at Central Connecticut State University.