Tuesday, September 27, 2011

More Bow-Wows


Book of Bow-Wows

The Book of Bow-Wows (1913) by Elizabeth Gordon illustrated by TAD. I have been asked if this book was illustrated by sports cartoonist "Tad" Dorgan, and I believe it is him but can't be sure. Tad was famous not because of his drawing, which was occasionally amateurish, but for his slangy humor and verbal invention. These drawings also seem to be drawn in a clumsy (but charming nonetheless) manner. Any comments pro or con would be welcome. Thanks to Ellen in the Netherlands for the neat images.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Yesterday's Waste Paper

Image found in an old penny dreadful. Poole's is apparently on the site of Dickens's 'Old Curiosity Shop.'

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sir George Newnes, Bart.(1851-1910) Pt. II

The Captain

By E. M. Sanchez Saavedra

In 1899, George Newnes made his first foray into the upscale juvenile market with The Captain, a slick periodical aimed at public school boys. The magazine's mix of factual and fictional pieces emphasized the imperialist ideals articulated in Henry Newbolt’s (1862-1938) famous poem Vitae Lampada.

There's a breathless hush in the Close to-night

Ten to make and the match to win

A bumping pitch and a blinding light,

An hour to play, and the last man in.

And it's not for the sake of a ribboned coat.

Or the selfish hope of a season's fame,

But his captain's hand on his shoulder smote:

"Play up! Play up! And play the game!"

The sand of the desert is sodden red -

Red with the wreck of a square that broke;

The Gatling's jammed and the colonel dead,

And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.

The river of death has brimmed its banks,

And England's far, and Honour a name,

But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks -

"Play up! Play up! And play the game!"

This is the word that year by year,

While in her place the school is set,

Every one of her sons must hear,

And none that hears it dare forget.

This they all with a joyful mind

Bear through life like a torch in flame,

And falling fling to the host behind -

"Play up! Play up! And play the game!"

The roster of contributors to The Captain, edited by R. S. Warren Bell, was instantly familiar to readers of the venerable Boys Own Paper: George Manville Fenn, Dr. Gordon Stables, C.B. Fry, the Rev. A.N. Malan, Ascott R. Hope, Louis Wain and others, later to be joined by P. G. Wodehouse, Percy F. Westerman and Harold Avery.

Typical articles and stories included “The King’s Red Coat,” “The Pirate Chung-Li-Sen,” “The Contents of Your Cricket Bag,” “When I Was a Boy” (by various notables, such as G.A. Henty, the publisher George Newnes, etc.), “What I Think of Girls,” “How Not to Treat Your Sister” and “Fags and Fagging.” The term “Fag” was not then a homophobic slur, but referred to the public school custom of making younger students perform menial tasks for older pupils. Designed to teach humility and industry, this practice was often grossly abused and added to the miseries of boarding school life. At any rate, the magazine’s editor referred to himself as “The Old Fag.”

In keeping with its title, the magazine emphasized team sports and featured photographs of school captains and winning teams. The champion cricketers W.G. Grace and K.S. Ranjitsinhji (“Ranji”) and bodybuilder Eugene Sandow were prominently featured in the first volume, with words of advice for up and coming sportsmen. The Captain was published into the 1920s. The latest volume I have seen is XLVIII for 1923.

Read Part I HERE

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sir George Newnes, Bart.(1851-1910)

Sir George Newnes, Bart., was the son of the Rev. T. Mold Newnes, of Matlock, and was born at Matlock Bath, Derbyshire 13 March 1851. George Newnes had been running a restaurant/coffee-house in Manchester, when, the story goes, he had an idea of posting together a compilation of periodical clippings on the back of a menu for his customers’ pleasure. This led to his first publishing venture, Tit-Bits, a cheap magazine of scrap-book oddities gleaned from various periodicals in Manchester in 1881. This type of scrapbook compilation went back a long way, The Thief, edited by Gilbert Abbott a’ Beckett, harked back to 1834. Newnes publishing rivals Alfred Harmsworth and C. Arthur Pearson were both contributors to Tit-Bits. Pearson won his position by entering one of Newnes many circulation competitions.

“Two hours after the first number of Tit-Bits came from the printing press, on October 30, 1881, five thousand copies had been sold in Manchester alone, and this notwithstanding what threatened to be a very serious drawback to the success of the paper. This drawback was its name. The Manchester newsboys were not the only representatives of the public who had pricked up their ears on hearing that a new penny paper would appear at the end of the month, and that the name of Tit- Bits had been chosen for it.” (The Life of Sir George Newnes, Bart, by Hulda Friederichs, 1911.)

Newnes was distressed but could not bring himself to discard the title. In 1884 he moved to London where he joined W. T. Stead in starting the Review of Reviews (1890). Sir George Newnes Ltd. (Newnes was created a Baronet in 1895) entered the field of boys’ periodicals with British Boys on 8 Dec 1896, a halfpenny weekly publication which lasted two years. The Captain (1899), a high-class sixpenny glossy similar to The Strand (1901), was more successful.

In 1900 he published Boys of the Empire a Magazine for British Boys all over the World, continued as “Boys of Our Empire” from 1901 to 1903 (Peeps into the Past, Jay). Newnes also published a story paper called Boys Best (date unknown) which featured The Amazing Adventures of Alec, Jim, and Tinpot series by soldier of fortune Stanley Portal Hyatt. Treasure Trove Library was issued from 1891-1922, and New Redskin Library in 1926.

George Newnes bought the copyright to Aldine’s Dick Turpin, Robin Hood, and Jack Sheppard titles about 1921. The Dick Turpin tales, most written by Charlton Lea (A. Sherrington Burrage), were reprinted in Newnes “Black Bess Library” beginning in January 1921 and running to 18 monthly numbers (Speaking of Aldines by Charles Wright, Collector’s Digest Xmas Annual 1953). A somewhat larger format “Black Bess Library [New Series]” came out later the same year. The covers were by R. H. Brock and Shilton. The last for Newnes, the “Dick Turpin Library,” ran 138 issues from 1922 to 1930. (Rogues of the King’s Highway, by David Ashford, Antiquarian Book Monthly, Nov. 1977.)

Newnes published an enormous variety of illustrated periodicals including (to name only a few) The Wide World (1888), The Million (1892), Country Life (1897), The Ladies Field (1898), The Navy and Army Library (1898), The Transvaal War Album (1899), The Captain (1899), The King (1900), Pegs’ Paper (1919), Deadwood Dick Library (34 nos., 1928-1929), The Buzzer (1937), Popular Flying (1935), Flying (1938), John O’London’s Weekly (1938), Happy Mag (1939), and Sunny Stories (1958).

Newnes also published newspapers. The Weekly Dispatch was born on 27 Sept 1801 and came to an end in 1961. The Weekly Dispatch was taken over by Newnes in 1894 and sold to the Harmsworth’s in 1903. The Westminster Gazette, which carried the cartoons of Francis Carruthers Gould, was prepared in the same building. One of Newnes Dispatch serial authors was William le Queux, author of The Great War in England in 1897 (1894), who was to serialize The Invasion of 1910 (1906) for Harmsworth’s Daily Mail.

Newnes died 9 June 1910. The New York Times of 10 June 1910 wrote that “Sir George had represented his party in parliament, had financed exploring expeditions, was interested in scientific progress and wholesome sports…but with the multitude of his compatriots he was chiefly the owner of Tit-Bits, and that is fame enough.”

*Black Bess Library images courtesy E. M. Sanchez Saavedra. Newnes, Pearson and Harmsworth photos from The Royal Magazine Volume I (Nov 1898-April 1899) published by C. Arthur Pearson. I have manipulated the images of the publishers -- originally the photos appeared on separate pages.

Friday, September 23, 2011

London Art Schools 1925

Advertisements for London schools of cartooning and sketching from 1925. A 1914 article by John Hassall, 'How I Began,' is posted HERE. Hassall illustrations HERE.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bagford Ballads

Bagford Ballads: Devol's last Farewel, Hertford: Printed for the Ballad Society, by Stephen Austin & Sons, 1878. An erudite look at the songs and ballads of Claude Duval with a reproduction of the original broadside ballad circa 1669-70. Also Dick Turpin from the Gentleman's Magazine and Sam Weller's Song from Pickwick Papers. All courtesy E. M. Sanchez Saavedra. Complete Bagford Ballads are available HERE.