The Village People

I always love finding images that help me visualize life during the Regency Era.

Recently I came across some of those kinds of images, and I thought I’d share them with you.

The artist is Graham Hyde, who was popular around 1900 to 1910 for his cartoonish illustrations.

In 1902 he produced a series of illustrations for Tuck & Sons that featured village people going about their daily lives during the late Regency/early Victorian time period.

One my favorites is this one, featuring a squire and his dog:

This one depicts children running to the town square, perhaps to see a Punch-and-Judy-style show.

Other village people illustrations include the local shepherd boy …

… and a farm worker taking a break from ploughing a field.

In 1908 Graham Hyde produced another set of illustrations along the same theme of characters you might find living in a village.

This set is more stylized and leans a little more toward Mr. Hyde’s cartoon-ish side.

This one is titled “Ye Doctor.”

Then there’s this one titled, “Ye Huntsman.”

Here’s “Ye Host,” which instantly makes me think of a landlord at a country posting inn:

And finally, here’s my favorite of the set, “Ye Village Dame.” It reminds me of Mrs. Philips running to tell Mrs. Bennet the gossip concerning Wickham’s iniquities:

What do you think of these illustrations? Do any of them remind you of characters you’ve read in classic literature?

On My Bookshelf: Beau Brocade

I own several copies of each of Jane Austen’s novels, but my favorite edition is a compilation of Austen’s novels that include wonderful illustrations by C. E. Brock and Hugh Thomson.

Hugh Thomson created the illustrations for another book I own: The Ballad of Beau Brocade by Austin Dobson.

Beau Brocade was published in 1893. It’s a light-hearted collection of poems about imaginary characters of the Georgian era. Here’s the title page, designed by Hugh Thomson:

One of the poems is titled “A Chapter of Froissart.” Hugh Thomson’s whimsical illustrations grace the first page:

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The language of this poem is a sometimes difficult to follow, but I love all the sly little references to Hogarth, Murray, Bonaparte, and Ann Radcliffe.

Although I’ve had the book for many years, it was very well read by the time I gave it a home. The pages are yellowed and loose, and there’s some foxing here and there; but this slim little book is definitely one of my favorites. I hope you enjoyed reading an excerpt.

How about you? Have you seen Hugh Thomson’s illustrations in other books? Did you enjoy this poem?