Muriel's Dreamland: A Fairy Tale
Muriel's Dreamland: A Fairy Tale

BROWN, Mrs. J.W. (author and illustrator). Alberta BROWN (co-illustrator). Muriel's Dreamland: A Fairy Tale.

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BROWN, Mrs. J.W. (author and illustrator). Alberta BROWN (co-illustrator). Muriel's Dreamland: A Fairy Tale. London; Griffith And Farran. 1871.

4to. Original purple cloth elaborately and decoratively blocked in gilt to upper cover, spine lettered gilt, bevelled boards, all edges gilt, matt brown endpapers; pp. [viii] + 85 + [i] + vi (reviews); with a total of 7 fine photographic albumen prints mounted-at-large on cream card and captioned below the image; an attractive copy with light fading and rubbing to spine, small (and superficial) wear to top and tail, and one or two threads pulled from upper joint; internally fresh and crisp with no wear to the vulnerable endpapers and only very slight, and trivial, internal marking; with the discreet book label of Camfield and Deirdre Wells to front pastedown.
First edition thus, being the superior 'Large Quarto Edition', which was first published as an octavo in the same year. An interesting nineteenth-century juvenile with photographic illustrations by Robert Hayward after original artwork by the author and her daughter. This is a full-blown Victorian Christmas fantasy in which Muriel falls asleep and, in her dreams, is transported by fairies to their world where she embarks on a charity mission to help the poor and destitute children of the world.
Camfield 'Harry' Wills was born and raised in Birmingham and was one of the earliest collectors of photographs and photographic equipment in Britain. He was a founder member of the Royal Photographic Society's Historical Group in 1972 and part of the first generation of British collectors and photographic historians. He had a large collection of related material which was auctioned by Bonhams in 2012.