Henry Keen’s illustrated Webster

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More gorgeous work from elusive British illustrator Henry Keen (1871–1935). These are some of the ink drawings Keen provided for a 1930 edition of John Webster’s Jacobean tragedies The Duchess of Malfi and The White Devil. In addition to eleven full-page illustrations there are decorative embellishments, and as usual it’s a shame there isn’t anywhere with a complete set of the artwork. I’m tempted to track down some of Keen’s books myself, this one seems especially good. That crowned skull is not only worthy of Carlos Schwabe, it makes me wonder why Webster wasn’t given more attention from earlier artists. Probably because the plays were too strong for 19th century tastes, violent revenge drama wasn’t what anyone wanted on stage at the time. Swinburne admired Webster’s work but then Swinburne wasn’t exactly a typical Victorian.

Thanks to ~Wunderkammer~ for the tip!

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Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Henry Keen’s Dorian Gray

Weekend links 70

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Faustine (1928) by Harry Clarke.

• This week’s Harry Clarke fix: 50 Watts reposts the Faust illustrations while Golden Age Comic Book Stories has the illustrated Swinburne.

What Goes Steam in the Night is an evening with contributors to The Steampunk Bible hosted in London by The Last Tuesday Society on September 6th:

Co-author S. J. Chambers invites you to the official U.K. celebration of her book The Steampunk Bible (Abrams Image). Part lecture, part signing, and part entertainment, S. J. will be accompanied by contributors Jema Hewitt (author of Steampunk Emporium ) and Sydney Padua (Lovelace & Babbage) for a discussion of the movement, a special performance by Victorian monster hunter, Major Jack Union, and inevitable hi-jinks and shenanigans to later be announced.

• RIP Conrad Schnitzler, an incredibly prolific electronic musician, and founder member of Tangerine Dream and Kluster/Cluster.

Golden Pavilion Records reissues fully-licensed late 60’s and 70’s psychedelic, progressive, acid-folk & art-rock music.

Dressing the Air is “an exclusive consulting and online resource for the creative industries”.

Luke Haines explains how to cook rabbit stew whilst listening to Hawkwind.

Wood pyrography by Ernst Haeckel from his home, the Villa Medusa.

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Satia Te Sanguine (1928) by Harry Clarke.

The truth is, the best novels will always defy category. Is Great Expectations a mystery or The Brothers Karamazov a whodunnit or The Scarlet Letter science fiction? Does Kafka’s Metamorphosis belong to the genre of fantasy? In reality men don’t turn into giant insects. And it’s funny. Does that mean it’s a comic novel? […] At a time when reading is in trouble, those readers left should define themselves less rigidly.

Howard Jacobson: The best fiction doesn’t need a label.

Pace the redoubtable Jacobson, Alan Jacobs believes We Can’t Teach Students to Love Reading.

How Ken Kesey’s LSD-fuelled bus trip created the psychedelic 60s.

Salvador Dalí creates something for Playboy magazine in 1973.

JG Ballard: Relics of a red-hot mind.

Electric Garden (1978) by Conrad Schnitzler | Auf Dem Schwarzen Kanal (1980) by Conrad Schnitzler.

Rossetti and His Circle by Max Beerbohm

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Rossetti’s name is heard in America (Oscar Wilde).

The Happy Hypocrite was Max Beerbohm’s words illustrated by George Sheringham; here we have Beerbohm’s caricatures from a 1922 collection depicting notable figures among the Aesthetes and Pre-Raphaelites from the 1860s on. Beerbohm wasn’t born until 1872 so there’s something of a younger generation’s mockery in these drawings. That said, he was just as happy to mock his London friends of the 1890s, Oscar Wilde included, and often poked fun at himself in his cartoons and his writings.

Some of the pictures in Rossetti and His Circle are familiar from books about the period, the Wilde picture in particular is often reprinted. You don’t always see them in colour, however, so once again the scans at the Internet Archive give us a fuller view provided you ignore the security perforations on each print.

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Blue China (JM Whistler and Thomas Carlyle).

A drawing which complements Wilde’s description of Whistler as a “miniature Mephistopheles”. Beerbohm was more succinct in one of his verbal portraits: “Tiny”.

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Algernon Swinburne taking his great new friend Gosse to see Gabriel Rossetti.

Swinburne, it seems, was another diminutive figure.

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The sole remark likely to have been made by Benjamin Jowett about the mural paintings at the Oxford Union: “And what were they going to do with the Grail when they found it, Mr. Rossetti?”

Previously on { feuilleton }
The Happy Hypocrite by Max Beerbohm