Facing the Text is essential for understanding the nature, popularity, and meanings of extra-illustration in the long eighteenth century and its place in the history of print culture. Lucy Peltz explores the practice in relation to the popularization of antiquarianism, the commercialization of print culture, the reception of engraved portraiture, and the rise of the amateur, the collector, and the connoisseur.
During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, thousands of books were customized with prints and drawings in a practice called extra-illustration. These books were often massively extended, lavishly bound, and prized by their owners as objects of display, status, and exchange. The scale of these compilations as well as their interdisciplinary nature - at once literary texts, printed books, art collections, and indexes of visual culture - have typically excluded them from histories of art and literature. In this book, Lucy Peltz maps a history of extra-illustration and its social and cultural meanings, providing a fascinating account of the practice itself and the often colorful personalities who engaged in it. The remarkable contents of key extra-illustrated books are explored, along with the broader historical and commercial contexts in which they were produced and enjoyed.
About the Author
Lucy Peltz is Senior Curator of Eighteenth-Century Collections and Head of Collection Displays (Tudor to Regency) at the National Portrait Gallery, London.
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