Memoir of Thomas Bewick

Memoir of Thomas Bewick

Memoir of Thomas Bewick

Memoir of Thomas Bewick

Excerpt

Soon after the death of Thomas Bewick, a man of unique position in the history of British art, the then indispensable Gentleman's Magazine duly contained a long and affectionately written obituary notice (1829). Near the end appeaxed a reference to the book which is now republished: "It is known that he had, to fill up his vacant time during the winter evenings of the last two yeats of his life, devoted his attention to writing a memoir of himself. This work, it is said, will extend to two quarto volumes, and is to be accompanied by various portraits of his early and particulax friends, and many other engravings which axe to be executed on wood."

Many constant readers of the Gentleman's had reason to think happily and eagerly of all that related to the dead naturalist and artist; many would look forward to perusing and surely possessing the announced autobiography, even in the formidable shape of two quarto volumes. But they had to be patient. More than thirty yeats were to pass before the manuscript left by Bewick became a published book, in one tallish volume only, and that without the promised portraits of the author's special friends -- unless some of them were to be identified among the included . . .

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