Sea and Land: An Illustrated History

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It’s all fun and games until someone gets bitten in twain by a shark. Illustrations from a Flickr selection of plates from Sea and Land: An Illustrated History (1887) by JW Buel, a compendium of stories about the natural world which tend towards the sensational. Many of these pictures are from what I call the “Die you brute!” school of illustration, in which exotic fauna is always on the rampage and needs to be violently subdued before someone is eaten alive (or bitten in twain). Buel’s book reprints pictures from other volumes including Gustave Doré’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner while one of the tentacled fiends below is an oft-reprinted item by Alphonse de Neuville & Edouard Riou from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. The only copy of Sea and Land at the Internet Archive is poor quality, unfortunately; being partial to Victorian sensation I wouldn’t mind seeing the whole thing.

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