WILKES Illus. manuscript childrens fable JACK ASLEEP

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[School of 'Lewis Carroll'] - H. & J.F. WILKES. Illustrated manuscript children?s fable Jack Asleep

Offered for sale by Adam Langlands of 'Shadowrock Rare Books' - for more information please contact him via email at adamlanglands@gmail.com 

[School of 'Lewis Carroll'] - Harry WILKES (author) & J.F. WILKES (illustrator). [A Nursery Rhyme reimagined] Illuminated and Illustrated Manuscript children’s fable ‘Jack Asleep’. [No place but UK: no date but circa 1900?]. Quarto (11 1/2 x 9 1/2 in; 292 x 241mm). 32 pages recto and verso of 16 leaves: 16 pages of text in black and red with decorative flourishes and occasional decorative initials; illustrated title, 15 pages with original watercolor illustrations, all surrounded by decorative embellishments. In addition to the 16 leaves that make up the story there are also 28 blank leaves. Original half-morocco covers, a version of the title is present on the front pastedown of the upper cover.

Condition: very fragile, all 16 of the leaves which contain the story are chipped with some loss, in need of expert consolidation and restoration, the blank leaves are in better condition but also fragile, all are toned; completely disbound, covers present but detached, spine lacking.

Jack falls asleep with ‘Hey Diddle Diddle / The cat and the fiddle’ on his mind: no sense nonsense adventures follow, including mis-remembered rhymes and sayings: ‘Hey diddle diddle, / The rat and the riddle, / The row that was over at noon, / The brittle log rasped / Was made into port / And the witch flew away on a broom’, and a cook suggests that ‘If at first you don’t succeed / Fry, fry, fry again!’. The story is funny and has just the right amount not-quite-right alternate-universe logic that captures the low-level panic of a waking dream, whilst also being familiar to any ‘Alice’ fans. The condition is a major problem.

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