Christmas With the Poets, Edited by Henry Vizetelly, Third Edition, Illustrated, 1855

Vizetelly, Henry (editor). Christmas with the Poets: Songs, Carols, and Descriptive Verses Relating to the Festival of Christmas, from the Anglo-Norman Period to the Present Time. London: David Bogue, 1855. Third edition. Large octavo. With color illustrations by Myles Birket Foster. Bound in full green Moroccan leather with gilt tooling, titles, and raised bands. New archival cloth slipcase with gilt candle stamp on the front. 

Christmas with the Poets: Songs, Carols, and Descriptive Verses Relating to the Festival of Christmas, from the Anglo-Norman Period to the Present Time is edited by Henry Vizetelly and was first published in 1851. This beautifully bound example is the third edition and was published in 1855 by the London-based David Broug. It is illustrated with over fifty color lithographs by Myles Birket Foster and bound in beautiful full green Moroccan leather, with gilt tooling and titles. 

Along with the traditional carols celebrating the birth of Jesus and festivities of the season, this large collection includes several lesser-known songs and poems. The book offers more unusual sections like “Boar’s Head Carols” and poems classified under the header of “Superstitions regarding Christmas Day.” As editor, Vizetelly does a wonderful job of explaining the historic traditions behind the poems and verses, giving context when needed for more modern readers.

The large octavo book is embellished with over fifty color illustrations by Myles Birket Foster, as well as decorative initial letters and other ornamentation to the lettering and pages.  Foster (1825- 1899) was an British illustrator, engraver, and painter of the Victorian era. He gained his first artistic experience during his apprenticeship with wood engraver Ebenezer Landells, where he learned the process of engraving for book illustrations and publications like The London Illustrated News and Punch. From 1846 on,  he worked as an independent book illustrator. Well-known prints from this time were his depictions of idyllic scenes of country life and the illustrations for works by Henry Wadsworth, William Wordsworth, Oliver Goldsmith, and Thomas Gray. In the 1850s and 1860s, Foster devoted himself to watercolor painting, so successfully that more than of his 400 works were exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in his lifetime. 

CONDITION:

Large octavo. With color illustrations by Myles Birket Foster. Bound in full green Moroccan leather, with gilt tooling to front boards and spine, gilt titles, and raised bands to the spine. Previous owner’s bookplate. The original red cloth and gilt front board and spine were bound into the back of the book. New archival cloth slipcase with gilt candle stamp on the front. 

Book Dimensions: 9 1/2" H x 6 1/2" W x 1" D

With Slipcase: 9 7/8" H x 6 7/8" W x 1 1/2" D




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