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Lot 71 - John Ruskin (1819–1900), King of the Golden River, illustrated by Arthur Rackham, 1932

6 x 9 ins
60 pages
Philadelphia: Lippincott
Notes: Cloth boards, pictorial paste-on, near fine, but no dust wrapper and some wear and fading on the spine, plus a little brown discolouration at the top of the front cover. First American edition. Illustrated with 4 fine color plates by Rackham plus pictorial endpapers. . Small Paul Elder & Company stamp on the back endpaper, a San Francisco bookseller & publisher from 1898-1968.

Comparable copy here. https://www.alephbet.com/pages/books/9218/john-ruskin/king-of-the-golden-river
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The King of the Golden River by John Ruskin was originally written in 1841 for the twelve-year-old Effie (Euphemia) Gray, whom Ruskin later married. It was published in book form in 1851, and became an early Victorian classic which sold out three editions. It is called a fairy tale that illustrates the triumph of love, kindness, and goodness over evil; however, it could also be characterised as a fable, a fabricated origin myth and a parable. It was illustrated by Arthur Rackham in 1932.
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Arthur Rackham (1867 - 1939) was born in Lewisham, then still part of Kent as one of 12 children. In 1884, at the age of 17, he was sent on an ocean voyage to Australia to improve his fragile health, accompanied by two aunts. At the age of 18, he worked as a clerk at the Westminster Fire Office and began studying part-time at the Lambeth School of Art.

In 1892, he left his job and started working for the Westminster Budget as a reporter and illustrator. His first book illustrations were published in 1893 in To the Other Side by Thomas Rhodes, but his first serious commission was in 1894 for The Dolly Dialogues, the collected sketches of Anthony Hope, who later went on to write The Prisoner of Zenda. Book illustrating then became Rackham's career for the rest of his life.

By the turn of the century Rackham had developed a reputation for pen and ink fantasy illustration with richly illustrated gift books such as The Ingoldsby Legends (1898), Gulliver's Travels and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm (both 1900). This was developed further through the austere years of the Boer War with regular contributions to children's periodicals such as Little Folks and Cassell's Magazine.
Although acknowledged as an accomplished black-and-white book illustrator for some years, it was the publication of his full colour plates to Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle by Heinemann in 1905 that particularly brought him into public attention, his reputation being confirmed the following year with J.M.Barrie's Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, published by Hodder & Stoughton. Income from the books was greatly augmented by annual exhibitions of the artwork at the Leicester Galleries.
Rackham won a gold medal at the Milan International Exhibition in 1906 and another one at the Barcelona International Exposition in 1912. His works were included in numerous exhibitions, including one at the Louvre in Paris in 1914.

Arthur Rackham died in 1939 of cancer at his home.

Read more about the Ruskin, Milliard and Effie Grey here: https://www.4thmeridian.ca/victorian-love-triangle-the-writer-the-artist-and-effie-grey/?preview_id=6917&preview_nonce=d4abcf5e14&_thumbnail_id=6649&preview=true

Lot Name
John Ruskin, King of the Golden River, illustrated by Arthur Rackham,
Media
1st Edition, Philadelphia: Lippincott
Size
6 x 9 ins, 60 pages
Date
1932
Estimate
$250 - $300

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