Title-page for The Careless Chicken

Title-page for “The Careless Chicken”

Alfred Crowquill

Hand-coloured wood-engraving; engraved by J. R. Jobbins

7¾ x 6 inches

Crowquill, Alfred. The Careless Chicken, title-page.

One of Crowquill’s anthropomorphic fantasies, designed for the nursery with animals as surrogates for humans. The story embodies the usual moralizing, but the illustrations are both inventive and vividly realized – an effect greatly assisted by the application of coloured inks by an unknown hand. By turns grotesque and amusing, sadistic and dream-like, Crowquill’s illustrations have a child-like aura and, for modern observers, seem unsettling and strange.

Scanned image and text by Simon Cooke.

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