An Oxonian, Little Tour in Ireland. Illustrated by John Leech.

An Oxonian (Samuel Reynolds Hole), Little Tour in Ireland. Illustrated by John Leech. Being a Visit to Dublin, Connamara, Athlone, Limerick, Killarney, Glengariff, Cork, etc. etc. etc. First Edition, London, Bradbury & Evans, 11, Bouverie Street, 1859. 15 x 19 cm, viii, 220 pages, 4 page publishers list. Large foldout colour frontispiece (35 x 18 cm) showing The Claddagh – Galway. With B&W illustrations throughout, some full page. Professionally rebound using original decorated (gold and blind stamping) green cloth boards and spine. New linen band seen between end papers as a result of repair. Very nice and attractive copy. Free endpaper and half title creased and some very small tears / abrasion. Tiny booksellers sticker and small ex libris glued to fixed front endpaper. Previous owners name and year (1863) neatly written on title page. Small amount of foxing throughout. Overall a very nice little book.

A Little Tour in Ireland, written under the pseudonym “Oxonian” (a member, or former member, of the University of Oxford), was first published in London in 1859. A reprint of 1892 names Samuel Reynolds Hole, Dean of Rochester and horticulturist, as the author. It is a travel account, illustrated by the renowned Victorian artist, John Leech, of a fortnight’s tour in Ireland undertaken in the summer of 1858.
Leech (1817-1864), whose father hailed from Ireland, had shown artistic ability from a young age. In 1841 he began illustrating for the (in)famous Punch magazine. Two years later, he began a series of “cartoons”: full-page satirisations of the Westminster Hall murals; his title stuck and so effectively Leech gave to the English language the meaning of the word “cartoon” as a satirical print. However, he is perhaps best remembered for his illustrations of Charles Dickens’s classic A Christmas Carol (1843). The vibrant coloured illustration of the Claddagh featured here appeared as a fold-out section within A Little Tour in Ireland . It depicts a lively scene of the local community set against the backdrop of the famous Claddagh cottages.
Hole (1817-1904) graduated from Oxford University in 1844 and was ordained a priest the following year. Hole and Leech met in 1858, becoming close friends and hunting partners, and later that same year crossed the Irish Sea together to tour Ireland.
The duo sailed from Holyhead to Kingstown Quay (now Dún Laoghaire) and, after a whistle stop tour of Dublin, left Dublin by the Midland Great Western Railway for Galway. The Galway they visited was reeling from the after effects of the Great Famine (1845-51); the population fell by 20% to about 16,000 between 1851 and 1861. On arrival the pair booked into the Railway Hotel (formerly the Great Southern, and now the Meyrick Hotel). Once settled, Hole and Leech decided to take a sightseeing trip about the town and Claddagh Village. (from an article by By Brendan McGowan, Galway City Museum)

Our price: EUR 180,-- 

An Oxonian, Little Tour in Ireland. Illustrated by John Leech.
An Oxonian, Little Tour in Ireland. Illustrated by John Leech.
An Oxonian, Little Tour in Ireland. Illustrated by John Leech.
An Oxonian, Little Tour in Ireland. Illustrated by John Leech.
An Oxonian, Little Tour in Ireland. Illustrated by John Leech.