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BY JAMES JAFFRAY.
THOMAS UNDERWOOD, CASTLE STREET, HIGH STREET.
MOORE & MʻQUEEN, BERNERS STREET.
THE GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATIONS OF WARWICKSHIRE were sketched by a little band of artists, the chief of whom painted, as lovingly as old Drayton sang, the picturesque
beauties of their native county. It comprised David Cox, J. V. Barber, De Wint, and J. D. Harding; W. Westall, H. Harris, and Mackenzie. W. Radclyffe, the engraver, was worthy of association with his distinguished local colleagues; and Dr. Blair fittingly supplemented their labours with descriptive letter-press. The work was published in 1829, when art was a luxury and books costly. It was, consequently, only in the libraries of the wealthy that even the commonest copies of the work could find a place. Fortunately, both the original drawings and the plates were preserved; and after an interval of thirty years they came into the possession of Mr. Thomas Underwood, who undertook the present reissue, with a view of placing the GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATIONS within the reach of the general public, at the cost of about as many shillings as the original cost guineas, by means of lithographic fac simile impressions from the plates in all their delicacy, crispness, and beauty. How admirably he has succeeded the book itself shows. My share in the work has been confined to brief and unpretending sketches of the historical events, and noted places, in which the county is so rich, and to tracing the changes which thirty years have wrought. Through the public spirit of a friend of the writer, the Warwickshire Drawings are now the property of the Birmingham and Midland Institute, where, with other works of local men, they form the nucleus of what promises to be a magnificent gallery of art.
Birmingham, October, 1862,
13 Compton Wynyate
Knightly combat at
Royal Visits to
St. Mary's Hall