ONLY 25 COPIES
GIANTS - STRANG, William (author and illustrator). A Book of Giants, Drawn, Engraved and Written By William Strang. London; The Unicorn Press, VII Cecil Court, London W.C.. 1898.
4to., publisher's olive-green pebble-grained morocco-backed pictorial cloth-covered boards, lettered gilt to spine and in black to upper cover to a design by Strang, with single vertical gilt rule to sides top edges gilt, others uncut; pp. [vi], 5-56, printed on fine handmade paper; with engraved frontispiece and 12 plates, all carefully and attractively handcoloured; a very good copy with some rubbing to spine and light overall dusting, internally fine; rare indeed.
First edition, Unicorn Quarto, Number One: one of ONLY 25 COPIES with the 12 plates handcoloured, this being number 8. This volume includes the first published woodcuts of William Strang, who was instrumental in the revival of hand-printed books, at the tail-end of the nineteenth century.
A collection of humorous verses featuring and depicting a range of characterful giants and ogres comprising The Fat Giant; The Giant and the Steam Roller; The Vegetarian Giant; The Giant and the Underground; The Giant and the Bicycle; The Giant and the Knight; The Giant and the Wines; The Giant and the Army; The Giant and the Apothecary; The Giant and the Torpedo; The Giant and the Motor Car, and The Giant and the Electric Light.
Laurence Binyon in his article for the Dictionary of National Biography comments about Strang, "It was as an etcher of imaginative compositions, in which homeliness and realism, sometimes with a grim or fantastic element, were subdued to fine design and severe drawing, that he first made a name". His selection of Giants here reflects this combination of realism and fantasy with elements of new mechanical inventions, the motor car, the electric light, the steamroller all entering his realm of fantastic creatures. Other platforms for his imagination include vegetarianism, torpedoes, apothecaries and the army.