Classic Book Illustrations by N.C. Wyeth

November 17, 2022

Classic Book Illustrations by N.C. Wyeth

New to our collection of rare books are two illustrated Scribner’s classics- Westward Ho! and The Last of the Mohicans- both illustrated by American painter Newell Convers Wyeth. 

The publishing house of Charles Scribner's Sons first commissioned Wyeth to illustrate Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island in 1911.  The 17 paintings that make up Treasure Island’s illustration set are celebrated in American book illustration, combining realistic action and a heightened contrast between light and shadow to enrich the story well beyond the text.

Westward Ho! by Charles Kingsley Illustrated by N.C. Wyeth, at the Great Republic

These pictures made the Wyeth-illustrated edition of Treasure Island a favorite of generations of readers. So well received was his first book, that Wyeth illustrated a whole range of "boy's adventure books" for the Scribner's Classics series, including Kidnapped, Robin Hood, Westward Ho!, The Mysterious Island, The Boy's King Arthur, The Last of the Mohicans, and twenty other titles.  

Wyeth became known for a superb sense of color and his complex compositions. He had a talent for accentuating the palpable, dramatic tension inherent in the stories. Each of his Scribner’s Classics books featured full-color paste down illustrations on the front board and as many as nine or ten additional full-color illustrations throughout the story. The sheer size and scale of his book art, unusual in illustrations of the period, contributed to their heroic quality. “Wyeth's valiant and heroic characters created prototypes of our American heroes, which have lasted to set the standard for movie, television, and computer game heroes.” (National Museum of American Illustration). 

Because of his talent, the Scribner's Classics have never waned in popularity and the books he illustrated are coveted by collectors to this day.

"Uncas Slays a Deer" Illustration from James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans: A Narrative of 1757.

"John Oxenham" Illustration from Westward Ho! by Charles Kingsley, Illustrated by N.C. Wyeth, 1924






Also in Blog

Gone with the Wind, First Edition
Gone with the Wind, First Edition

December 05, 2022

Gone with the Wind was the fastest selling novel in American publishing history. It first went on book stands on June 30, 1936. Mitchell had hoped that her 1,037-page novel would sell 5,000 copies, but in that summer alone, she sold an impressive 50,000 copies.

View full article →

Shopping a Community of Makers: Kobold Watches
Shopping a Community of Makers: Kobold Watches

November 28, 2022

We at The Great Republic take pride in celebrating American craftsmanship and supporting the community of American makers, designers, artists, and creators represented in our shop. From our leather makers to letterpress designers, jewelry crafters to cutlers, pen makers and horologists, by shopping with The Great Republic you are helping over 30 small businesses thrive. 

One of the small businesses and creative experts that make The Great Republic such a special place to shop is Kobold. Founded in 1998 by fledgling young watchmaker Michael Kobold, Kobold is an American watch company operating primarily out of Pennsylvania. As his company grew, Kobold became well-known for high quality, durable timepieces for the ultimate adventurer. 

View full article →

The Stories Behind Five Famous Pen Names
The Stories Behind Five Famous Pen Names

November 25, 2022

View full article →

Exclusive deals, new arrivals, and more!

Sign up for our emails and get in on all the action!


CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE