Wood engraving

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  • Thomas Bewick has been acclaimed as the pioneer of modern wood engraving whose genius brought this popular medium to prominence. This study shows that certain technological developments prepared a path for Bewick and helped give his work its unique character. THE AUTHOR: Jacob Kainen is curator of graphic arts, Museum of History and Technology, in the Smithsonian Institution's United States National Museum. No other artist has approached Thomas Bewick (1753-1828) as the chronicler of English rustic life.

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  • Thou, sitting on the hill-top bare,Dost see the far hills disappearIn Autumn smoke, and all the airFilled with bright leaves. Below thee spreadAre yellow harvests, rich in breadFor winter use; while over-headThe jays to one another call,And through the stilly woods there fall,Ripe nuts at intervals, where'erThe squirrel, perched in upper air,From tree-top barks at thee his fear;His cunning eyes, mistrustingly,Do spy at thee around the tree;Then, prompted by a sudden whim,Down leaping on the quivering limb,Gains the smooth hickory, from whenceHe nimbly scours along the fenceTo secret haunts....

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  • Mr. Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late in the mornings, save upon those not infrequent occasions when he was up all night, was seated at the breakfast table. I stood upon the hearth-rug and picked up the stick which our visitor had left behind him the night before. It was a fine, thick piece of wood, bulbous-headed, of the sort which is known as a ‘Penang lawyer.’ Just under the head was a broad silver band nearly an inch across. ‘To James Mortimer, M.R.C.S., from his friends of the C.C.H.,’ was engraved upon it, with the date ‘1884.’...

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  • An examination of their contents shows them to be equally foreign to present day ideas as to the desirable characteristics for children's literature.

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