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Fables, Original And Selected. By The Late James Northcote, R.A. Second Series. Illustrated By Two Hundred And Eighty Engravings on Wood.

James Northcote RA

RA Collection: Book

Record number




London:: John Murray, Albemarle Street., M DCCC XXXIII.

Physical Description

lx, 248 p.: illus.; 218 mm. (Octavo.)


[Half-t., t.p., dedic.] - Contents - [Note, by E.S.R.] - Sketch Of The Life Of James Northcote, Esq. R.A. - [Title, 'Fables, Original And Selected'] - Introduction [by E.S.R.] - [Text, with illus.]; [colophon] - Index To [i.e. list of] The Engravings.

Responsibility Note

In a note preceding the 'Sketch Of The Life Of James Northcote, Esq. R.A.' the editor acknowledges the 'assistance he has received from Mr. Brockedon, an intimate friend of the Author'.

In his Introduction the editor, 'E.S.R.' [i.e. Edmund Southey Rogers], outlines the responsibility for the illustrations, stating that 'Mr. Northcote ... desired that from his designs Mr. Harvey should execute the drawings on the blocks for engraving ... The vignettes and ornamental letters are entirely Mr. Harvey's invention ... To Mr. John Thompson, and the other Gentlemen ... whose names are attached to their several performances in the Index ... his acknowledgements are justly due.' These names appear not only in the Index but also as signatures with several of the illustrations. They are J. Thompson, Landells, Eliza Thompson, Thurston Thompson, Nesbit, Jackson, T. Williams, Branston & Wright, Martin, Slader, Gorway, Miss Williams, Bonner, White, Albert Thompson, J. Smith, C. Thompson (Paris).

The printer is named on the verso of the title-page and in the colophon: 'Chiswick Press: Printed By C. Whittingham.'

The work is dedicated by Edmund Southey Rogers to the Queen (that is, Queen Adelaide, consort of William IV).


S. Houfe, The dictionary of 19th-century British book illustrators (rev., 1996); J. Buchanan-Brown, 'British wood-engravers c.1820 - c.1860: a checklist', in Journal of the Printing Historical Society, 17 (1982-3); R.K. Engen, Dictionary of Victorian engravers, print publishers and their works (1979); C.J. Courtney Lewis, The story of picture printing in England during the nineteenth century (1928); E.C. Bigmore and C.W.H. Wyman, A bibliography of printing (1945); W.J. Linton, The masters of wood-engraving (1889); W. Chatto, J. Jackson and H.G. Bohn, A treatise on wood-engraving (1861).

Summary Note

This work is a companion volume to the 'One Hundred Fables, Original And Selected, By James Northcote, R.A.', published in 1828. It consists of a hundred fables, each of which begins with a wood engraving showing its subject and a decorated initial, and most of which conclude with a tail-piece. These, and the title-page vignette (a portrait of Northcote), are all listed and described in the 'Index To The Engravings'.


Purchased for RA Library in 1870 (see 'Librarian's Report for the Year 1870', RA Annual Report, Appendix No. 6, p. 29).

Binding Note

19th-century half black morocco, black cloth-covered boards; spine lettered 'Fables - Northcote - 2.'


Fables - Animals in Art
Pictorial works - Illustrated books - Great Britain - 19th century


John Murray, publisher
James Northcote RA, source artist
Charles Whittingham, printer
Adelaide Queen, consort of William IV, King of Great Britain
William Harvey, draughtsman
John Jackson, wood engraver
Robert Edward Branston, wood engraver
Charlton Nesbit
Henry White, wood engraver
George Wilmot Bonner, wood-engraver
Abraham John Mason, wood-engraver
S. M. Slader, engraver
J. Smith, wood-engraver
Thomas Williams, wood-engraver
John Wright, wood-engraver
Henry White, wood-engraver
Eliza Thompson, wood-engraver
Edmund Southey Rogers, editor
William Brockedon, editor
Ebenezer Landells, wood-engraver
Charles Thurston Thompson, wood-engraver
John Thompson, wood-engraver
Charles Thompson, wood-engraver
Mary Ann Williams, wood-engraver