Book Description

Oblong (41.5 x 27.5cm). Early twentieth-century half brown morocco over brown linen; the boards ruled in gilt; the spine with five raised bands, ruled in gilt. Top edge gilt. Marbled endpapers. Engraved armorial bookplate for William Henry Willatt of Reighton Hall, East Yorkshire, to the front pastedown. Manuscript introductory note in ink by W. H. Willatt (the creator, Isaac Willatt’s, son) dated 1934, affixed to the front free endpaper, and with additional presentation note to his grandaughter verso. The contents comprising 22 sheets of thick paper, each with a fine pen and ink drawing by Isaac Willatt to the recto (versos blank), numbered and captioned beneath. Condition is very good, the binding square and tight with a couple of minor marks to the upper board and a little rubbing to the extremities. The contents with a diagonal crease to the blank front endpaper, some light scattered foxing and occasional finger-marking to page margins are otherwise in very good order throughout.
Dealer Notes
An exquisitely produced series of pen and ink drawings illustrating John Bunyan’s famous Christian allegory ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’, forming a remarkably meticulous copy of the originals by Henry C. Selous, which illustrated an 1844 edition published by M. M. Holloway, London.

The manuscript was created by Isaac Willatt for his fiancée in 1865, as the note by his son explains:
“The following illustrations to Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress were copied by hand with pen and ink from the work of H. C. Selous... The copyist, (who had the illustrations lent to him by a friend), was Isaac Willatt junior of Nottingham, who had just become engaged to marry Mary Matthews, daughter of William Matthews of Wednesbury, Staffordshire, in August 1865; at that time Isaac Willatt junior was a member of the Robin Hood Rifle Volunteers at Nottingham, and this was regarded by Mary Matthews and her parents, (who were very strict Wesleyan Methodists), as being rather “fast”, so to please his fiancée be gave up his membership of the Volunteers, and to fill up the spare time thus obtained, he laboriously copied by hand these illustrations, which the writer of this Memorandum caused to be bound within the present covers, as an appreciation of his father”.

A wonderful labour of love.
Author WILLATT, Isaac; WILLATT, William Henry; SELOUS, Henry Courtney; BUNYAN, John:
Date [1865]
Publisher [Original manuscript].

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