AINSWORTH, WILLIAM HARRISON. 1805-1882.
Windsor Castle: An Historical Romance. London: Henry Colburn, 1844.
11 parts. 8vo (245 x 156 mm). Engraved portrait frontispiece and engraved title, with 18 steel-engraved plates by George Cruikshank and Tony Johannot, and 90 wood engravings by W.A. Delamotte. Prospectus bound into front of part 2, four leaves of advertisements in part 3. Original cream illustrated wrappers. Custom slipcase. Bottom corner of front wrapper of part 3 and rear wrapper of part 4 repaired.
Laid in is an Autograph Letter Signed ("W. Harrison Ainsworth"), 1 p, 8vo, Kensal Manor House, March 12, 1842.
FIRST COMPLETE ILLUSTRATED EDITION IN ORIGINAL MONTHLY PARTS, WITH AN AUTOGRAPH LETTER LAID IN. This work is rarely seen in part form; auction records list only 3 copies in the last 34 years. Originally appearing in Ainsworth's Monthly from July 1842 to June 1843, Windsor Castle was popular enough that in the following year, Colburn began to issue it separately in these monthly parts, offering it at the same time in a bound one-volume edition. (Colburn had brought out a substantially incomplete three-volume edition in 1843, containing only three of Cruikshank's plates). In all, fourteen of the plates are by Cruikshank, who had taken over from Johannot after finishing the illustrations for Ainsworth's The Miser's Daughter; Cruikshank's engravings represent a return to the Rembrandtesque style of his illustrations for the Tower of London and, in the estimation of Ellis, match those in excellence. Delamotte's wood engravings were executed under the direction of Ainsworth, providing yet a further example of the way in which 19th century serials represented a uniquely collaborative form. The lot includes a letter from Ainsworth instructing his "dear Sir," to send payment if he would like a copy of Ainsworth's Monthly. Cohn 19; Ellis pp 56-58.