ENGEN (Rodney): RICHARD DOYLE.
Stroud: Catalpa Press, 1983.ISBN# 0 904995 05 4. Illustrated with numerous black and white pictures.Tall 8vo., 216 pp.; plain green cloth, pictorial dust-jacket.
The book illustrations and paintings of Richard Doyle (1824-1883) are typified by sprightly visions of fairy nymphs, elves and knights in search of their fair damsels. As “Dickey Doyle” and later “Dick Kitcat” he produced a series of impressive boyhood triumphs, from the now famous Dick Doyle’s Journal of 1840, to his first published work The Eglinton Tournament. Doyle’s talent for fantasy with pen and ink attracted Mr. Punch who offered him a place on his staff at nineteen. There, alongside John Leech, he produced a seven year output of inimitable grotesques, borders, a new Punch cover, parodies of social events and the American Gold Rush, and his one overwhelming popular success “The Foreign Tour of Brown, Jones and Robinson.” This popular reference book has been compiled from much unpublished material, including the boyhood letters Doyle wrote to his father and later ones to famous friends such as Dickens, Thackeray and Rossetti. It contains the first complete list of Doyle’s illustrations for books and magazines and a list of his paintings. This was the first title in the projected series: Artist and the Critic, and the only full-scale study of Doyle and his famous artist family.