Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 9.djvu/417

This page needs to be proofread.

us. ix. MAY 23, i9R] NOTES AND QUERIES,


THE TAYLOR SISTERS. (11 S. ix. 225, 297, 317, 354.)

MB. HENRY TAYLOR'S interesting reply to myN previous inquiry leads me on to ask whether the ' Original Poems ' of the Rout- ledge 1868 edition are all by A. and J. Taylor (though " with regrettable alterations in the text "), or whether this selection of verses is made up of contributions by several writers. The incongruity of the illustrations repre- senting people in costumes " fifty or sixty yeaacs in advance of the poetry " raises curiosity to know why this needless mis- take occurred. It would have been just as easy for such capable artists to have depicted the incidents giving rise to the verses with figures of the period under consideration. Was a sort of pious fraud perpetratecl to make the book more attrac- tive to the juvenile readers of the late sixties ? or may it not be that the artists were given manuscript copies by publishers themselves ignorant of j;he age of the verses, and in all good faith produced the pictures that have now done service for more than forty years ? MR. TAYLOR is right in remarking that " art had sunk to its lowest depths in the early Victorian period " ; but 1868 was rather late in that period perhaps, and to regard the two illustrations to ' Little Ann and her Mother ' as representative of Vic- torian art at " its lowest depths " is, to my mind, to conjecture that Victorian art at its highest heights must have been something to be very thankful for. The frontispiece to the volume, by R. Barnes, showing the " elegant lady," the " tall footman," the < beautiful chariot," and the tearful little beggar girl of Cavendish Square, is superb ; and the smaller picture, by J. Jellicoe, of the stroll in the Square is equally good in its way. The sketch of the former incident by the 17-year-old Isaac Taylor to which MR. HENRY TAYLOR refers, though, of course, more interesting on account of the personality of the artist, may possibly stand in artistic relationship to that by R. Barnes much as Lewis Carroll's own pencil conception of " Alice " does to John Tenniel's. Surely MR. HENRY TAYLOR has been a little too sweeping in his condemna- tion of finely conceived illustrations in this Avell-produced specimen of a " book of the sixties." It may be "an erratic edition " of a work out of copyright, but scarcely the " worst instance " known of such things of

the early Victorian period, as his article would seem to imply. The authoresses of ' Original Poems,' like the authoress of ' Jessica's First Prayer ' and books of its class, should ever be held in tender and grateful memory. I rather think, however, that R. Barnes (whoever he was) did his share, too, in his day in the right direction, in which the good Taylor Sisters always consistently pointed. He has helped to build up true character during a long generation by means of his clever and spirited drawing ; his " Dear ladies," she cries, and the tears trickle


" Relieve a poor beggar, I pray," is art that appeals and drives home, just as the art of the Taylor Sisters themselves does in its own gentle and suggestive way. " Little Ann " and " Jessica " of the " first prayer " will long endure to inspire to high endeavour. In the meanwhile, thanks to R. Barnes as well as to the good sisters,

The ladies in feathers and jewels are seen, The chariot is painted all o'er,

The footman behind is in silver and green,

The horses are prancing before. Let us do justice to R. Barnes.


BIRMINGHAM STATUES AND MEMORIALS : SIR WILLIAM WILSON (11 S. ix. 278, 377). My authority for the statement (ante, p. 278) that Sir William Wilson designed the tower of St. Mary's Church at Warwick is Mr. Matthew Holbeche Bloxam. Treating " of the Debased English Style " in ' The Principles of Gothic Ecclesiastical Archi- tecture ' (7th ed., 1845), he refers (p. 317) to

" the Tower, nave, aisles, and transepts of the Church of St. Mary at Warwick, which were rebuilt after the fire, A.D. 1694, by which those portions of the old church were destroyed, and completed A.D. 1704" ; and in a foot-note adds :

" This structure, which was erected after a

design by Sir William Wilson, is fully described

in the second number of a work now in progress,

' Notices of the Churches in Warwickshire.' " 3


Referring to St. Mary's Church, Warwick, on p. 104 of ' Highways and Byways in Shakespeare's Country ' (1914), Archdeacon Hutton writes : '

" It seems that Sir Christopher Wren was first consulted, and the designs which he made are among the papers in All Souls' Library marked ' not executed ' but, though most books deny it, I feel convinced that the tower really is his Avork, for the design among his papers is entitled ' orthography of the toAver of the parochial