- Extra Illustrated Editions
James Boswell. The Life of Samuel Johnson. London: Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons Ltd., 1907; extra-illustrated by A.H. Reed. 10 volumes, Vol. 1 displayed.
In the 1930s, Reed began to extra-illustrate a copy of Forster’s Dickens – a practice that involved inserting material relating to the text between the pages. At that time, Reed regularly had been purchasing £5 bundles of about 100 letters from Maggs Brothers of London. In these, Reed found letters by people in the Dickens circle, or by people referred to in Forster’s biography.
Reed’s original gift included his grangerized edition of Forster’s Dickens, extended to ten volumes. It was later extended by Reed to twenty volumes in spring-form bindings, containing hundreds of letters, portraits and clippings including letters by Dickens and his family.
Prior to this, in the late 1920s, Reed had extra-illustrated an edition of Boswell’s Johnson, extending it to ten volumes in maroon spring-form bindings. This was first loaned to the Library for display in 1928.
Extra-illustrated books are traditionally bound in morocco leather, and Reed’s use of spring-form bindings may indicate that he considered his grangerized volumes incomplete. His concurrent interest in autograph letters meant that he could easily open the binding and insert any newly acquired item of interest.
This case features an example of the maroon spring-form bindings – the work of the Dunedin Public Library bindery - which Reed used for his extra-illustrated edition of Boswell’s Johnson.
Boswell’s Johnson extra-illustrated by A.H. Reed: 9:1101 Charles Burney
Volume 9 contains one of Reed’s favourite letters, which he found among one of the unsorted bundles of letters he acquired from Maggs. Dated 3 January 1789, it was written by the musicologist Charles Burney (1726-1814), a friend of Johnson’s, to his daughter, the diarist and novelist Frances Burney (1752-1840).
Frances Burney was then “Second Keeper of the Robes” in the court of George III during a period when the King was ill. This letter is an engaging account of Mr Burney’s response to the news of the King’s recovery, opening with: “Your comforting acct. of our dear and good R[oyal] Master was a cordial to us all indeed!”
Forster’s Dickens extra-illustrated by A.H. Reed: 7:266 Catherine Dickens
Reed’s grangerised Forster contains letters by Dickens and members of his family. This case features one from Dickens’ wife and another by his second daughter.
A letter dated 9 October is from Catherine Dickens (1815-1879), wife of Charles Dickens and mother to his ten children, to Clarissa Hester Cattermole (1812-1892), wife of Dickens’ friend the painter and illustrator George Cattermole (1800-1868). The letter would have been written between December 1839, when the family moved into Devonshire Terrace, and November 1851, when they removed to Tavistock House.
Forster’s Dickens extra-illustrated by A.H. Reed: 4:132 Kate Perugini
A letter dated 8 August 1880 is from Kate Perugini (1839-1929), Charles Dickens’ daughter and a painter best known for her portraits of children. It is one of three concise letters by Perugini purchased by Reed from a London dealer in 1927.