22 DECEMBER 1866, Page 21


It is a quarter of a century since Douglas Jerrold's Story of a Feather • appeared in the pages of Punch, then a fresh and youthful periodical. The original illustrator was Mr. Kenny Meadows, a fanciful artist, with a curiously hard and unattractive manner. The novelette was after- wards published separately, with one or two etchings by John Leech ; and also took its due place in the editions of Mr. Jerrold's collected works. It now appears in the luxurious form of a Christmas gift-book ; and, bound in magenta and gold, choicely printed by Messrs. Bradbury, Evans, and Co., adorned with some seventy illustrations from the grace- ful pencil of Mr. George du Manner, will compare favourably with any similar production of the season. The Story of a Feather will probably retain its popularity for a longer period than the more ambitions fictions of its author. While exhibiting a full share of Mr. Jerrold's powers as a wit and humorist, it is less disfigured by those somewhat acrid " asides " concerning the faults and follies of the day with which he was fond of hindering the current of his narratives and damaging their symmetry as works of art. The notion of endowing an inanimate object' with autobiographical powers did not, of course, originate with Mr. Jerrold. The Sofa and the Guinea, to mention no other articles, had already, with more or less tediousness and propriety, narrated their adventures. In the present day it may be found that the fancy for this kind of chronicle has become rather obsolete: out of harmony, indeed, with modern inclinations in regard to the realistic treatment of fiction. But if the reader will withhold his objections to the plan of the story in this respect, and overlook the attenuated nature of the thread which con- nects the characters and incidents, he will find himself introduced to many scenes of interest,—some, perhaps, of too painful a kind,—de- acribed with wonderful vigour and spirit ; for it was as a writer of scenes, rather than of complete works, that Mr. Jerrold was more especially distinguished. His descriptions of the past century, how- ever, are too manifestly from the point of view of the present, and he is occasionally inaccurate in his treatment of details. In 1762, the date of the story, Garrick was of too ripe an age to be • The Story of a Feather. By Douglas Jerrold. illustrated by G. du Meader. London : Bradbury, Evans, and Co. .kindling the admiration of Lady Blushrose by his performance of Romeo. Indeed Mr. Jerrold makes Mrs. Clive, the actress, speak of her manager as too old to play Ranger, and with wrinkles on his face " as deep and as black as a coal-pit" Hugh Kelly, staymaker, critic, and playwright, for whom we read in Boswell that Dr. Johnson entertained "a real friendship,‘ is surely limned with too black a brush ; and Mr. Du Manner is mistaken in representing Kelly, in the vigorous scene where he is compelled to drink up his ink, as a man of advanced age. Kelly was but thirty-eight when he died in 1777. Upon the whole the drawings will greatly advanoe the artist's reputation, although a little more care and finish in the treat- ment of hands and feet would be desirable. The initial letters are characterized by much quaint invention, and the drawing of the Bow Street officers breaking into Patty Butler's garret bed-room and dis- covering the stolen watch, displays touches of Hogarthian power. Patty indeed is charmingly treated throughout, and her beauty and innocence are well contrasted with the coarseness and brutality of the wretches with whom she is brought in contact. Mr. Da Manrier may be congratulated upon having caught the spirit of the text. His illus- trations will attract new admiration to the book, while its old friends will certainly not like it the less for its present ornate appearance.

Roses and Roilyt is the somewhat meaningless title of a new book of elegant extracts, the publisher of which congratulates himself upon the fact that " the entire artistic and mechanical work has been executed in the northern capital." As the book, inclusive of illustrations, numbers only 145 pages, and among the authors upon whom contributions have been levied we find the names of Messinger, Butler, Thackeray, the Earl of Surrey, Dickens, Ossian, Hood, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sydney Smith, Dryden, Lamb, and Bunyan, we are led to the conclusion that very wide fields of literature have been traversed to cull a rather insig- nificant posy. The collection, indeed, is more than usually scanty and " scrappy ;" but then it is announced in the preface that the main object of the work was to secure variety, in preference to the beaten track of classified selections and special subjects usually chosen for gift-books. In this way it would seem that all tastes have been con- sidered. The reader who objects to the "Devil's Walk" (attributed to Person), will tarn with thanksgiving to the soothing lines of Mrs. Humans' "Hour of Prayer." The Scot who resents Sydney Smith's attack upon his " wut," will find comfort in the sweet ballad of the " Twa Sisters," with its musical burthen of " Binnorie, 0 Binnorie !" And those to whom "Love's young dream" has become a little wearisome may learn a valuable lesson in the selection from the "Book of Job.'" The publisher has not included among his extracts the fable of the old man who tried to please all, and yet pleased none. It is to be hoped. he may not in the ill success of his book have occasion to lament over the sad truth conveyed by that little apologue. For the rest, the volume. is a handsome one, and among its illustrators will be found names that. are new to the public south of the Tweed. Mr. McWhirter contributes four graceful and spirited landscapes representative of the seasons.. Mr. Samuel Bough forcibly depicts "A Wild Night at Sea," illustrative of the storm scene in David Copperfidd. Mr. John Lawson has a cleverly drawn " Vanity Fair," with a hint about it of Mr. John Gilbert's famous breadth of manner, and accomp anies Poe's "Annabel Lee " with a pretty drawing of the child-lovers. Mr. Charles Doyle is ingenious and grotesque, with a strong tendency towards caricature. Mr. (lourlay Steel has a capital "Startled Stag." Mr. Clark Stanton is rather feeble, possibly from want of practice in drawing upon wood, and cleaves to the academic convention which permits of clothing in " Il Penseroso," but invariably insists upon nudity in " L'Allegro." Mr. Stanton's undraped nymph is a following—at a considerable distance—of Mr. Frost's manner. His "Seven Ages" is better conceived than executed. Mr. Hay's illustration of " Monkbarns at Market" is clever. It should be stated that the drawings aro all engraved—and for tho most part exceedingly well—by Mr. Paterson.

To the New Table Book, or Pictures for Old and Young Parties,: Mr. Eltze has contributed illustrations, while Mr. Lemon has furnished accompanying verses. A speciality further distinguishes the book : it contains some two dozen ruled pages, upon which, it is conjectured, the friends and acquaintances of the donee of the volume are to inscribe,. with their own names, the names of their favourite King, Queen, States- man, Hero, Author, Artist, Poet, Actor, County, Study, Colour, Quotation, Ambition, 4-c., §-c. This does not occur to us as a very exhilarating occupation, but if it affords recreation to any large class, we have only —with Mr. Pickwick, when informed that Mr. Peter Magnus'a friends found amusement in his signing himself " P. M.," post meridian, or "Afternoon,"—to envy the ease with which they are entertained. Mr. Eltze has much to learn as an artist—much_ to acquire before he can take rank among modern illustrators. His drawings are at present amateurish and scratchy. He appears to be an. imitator of Mr. John Leech ; but it is not every one who can, as Mr. Leech could, dispense with actual reference to the living model, and yet. produce drawings strikingly life-like. Mr. Eltze is not without a oer- tain humour and vivacity, and a sense of female and infantine beauty. His "Mistletoe Missionaries" and "Good Night " are, perhaps, his best drawings, but the want of closer study of nature is apparent in all he + Roses and Holly. A GA-Book for all the 'Year. Edinburgh : William P. Mama t The Ness Table Book, or Pictures for Old and Young Parties. By Frederick Elsie. Edited by Mark Lemon. London: Bradbury, Evans, and Cu.

does. Mr. Lemon's verses bear the stamp of great good humour, yet it must be said that they are oftentimes daringly inane. The decorated cover of the volume appears to- be designed by Mr. John Leighton. It is singularly tawdry and tasteless.

Following the example set by the publishers of the Cornhill Magazine in their Cornhill Gallery, Mr. Strahan, from his magazine; the Argosy and Good Words, has formed a collection of drawings to which he has given the title of Touches of Nature.§ The illustrations are ninety-eight in number, and although some few of them might with advantage have been omitted, they afford, upon the whole, it being borne in mind the low price at which Mr. Strahan's serials are issued, valuable testimony as to the advance made of late years in book illustration. Certain of the draw- ings"Tese somewhat by being severed from the works of fiction with which they were originally connected. It is hardly possible, for instance, to carry in the memory the complications of Mrs. Henry Wood's stories, so as to be able to judge of the excellence of Mr. Walker's illustrative designs in that respect, and it is inevitable, therefore, that a mean- ingless air should attach itself to various drawings that are otherwise deserving of admiration as works of art. Mr. Holman Hunt's "Raper" is full of force and expression, though the trunk of the figure seems rather narrow with regard to the stalwart proportions of the arms and legs. Mr. Millais is careless and feeble in his illustrations to Miss Mulock's novel ; his two drawings of the Parables are far more worthy of his fame. Surely it would have been better to have appended to these, simple quotations from the New Testament, in lieu. of Dr. Gnthrie's cumbrous paraphrases and common-place comments. Mr. *Tenniel, as usual, is correct in his drawing, yet very theatrical in man- ner. The illustration to Mr. Forsyth's poem of the "Battle of Gil- boa" has almost a tinge of burlesque about it. Mr. Sandys delights in strong lines and Dureresque draperies. The same model seems to have sat to him for his illustrations to the poems of Miss Rossetti and Miss Mulock; but the last is perhaps the more elaborate and finished drawing. An illustration to Mr. Kingsley's Hereward, from the pencil of the late Paul Gray, is fall of light and colour. It is curious to note how some artists, from a misunderstanding apparently of the material upon which they are at work, risk the ruin of their designs. The late Mr. Lawless, for instance, appears to have laboured to give the effect of etching to his drawings. The task was a vain one; the graver cannot possibly render the niceties of the etching needle, and a heavy and blotted effect unavoidably results. For perfect knowledge of the capabili- ties and limitations of the wood engraver perhaps Mr. F. Walker is the most distinguished of designers. His illustration to Mr. MacDonald'a "Wild Flowers" is one of the beat in the book, full of grace and delicacy, charmingly composed and expressed. The designs of Messrs. Vinwell, Houghton, Small, Da Meunier, Barnes, Watson, and Keene also merit high praise. There can be little doubt that Touches of' Nature will enjoy a large popularity. It should be noted that poems by Miss Rossetti, Miss Ingelow, Miss Greenwell, Alexander Smith, Gerald Massey, and others accompany the drawings.

Maud Muller 11 is a short poem of some hundred line s, simple, sen- timental, and somewhat melancholy, with illustrations careful and graceful, but not very forcible, by W. T. Hennessy. The book is hardly strong enough to "run alone." The same publishers have issued a pretty little volume of the most recent poems of Longfellow including the musical verses called Flower de Luce.i As the first of a new series, to be called the Chandos Poets,tt Messrs. Warne and Co. have published at a very moderate price a new edition of the works of Longfellow including his latest verses and three cantos of the poet's forthcoming translation of Dante. The book is handsomely printed, with a red line ruled round the type, and with several clever illustrations, stated io be by Messrs. Cooper, Small, and Houghton. The design to the small poem of "Maidenhood," however, would seem to be by the late Paul Gray.