Speaking Likenesses

Christina Rossetti's tales of three girls, in a lovely binding


Christina G Rossetti, illustrated by Arthur Hughes


Macmillan, London, 1874
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Printing Details

First edition, first printing hardback, bound in the original blue cloth boards with superb gilt decoration to upper board and stylised titling in gilt. Top edge gilt, 19 × 12.5cm, viii + 96pp.

In Speaking Likenesses, Christina Rossetti tells stories of three little girls and their behaviour, and how they are rewarded or punished for their actions. Such as Flora, a pampered child in the first story, becomes increasingly grumpy on her eighth birthday. She is then trapped in a nightmare tea party at which a haughty birthday queen denies her any food, and where the party games are cruel and bullying... There are obvious comparisons with Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland (particularly when viewing Arthur Hughes' drawings) but Rossetti's tales have more of a moral ending whereas Alice's time in Wonderland is more of a dreamy adventure.


A good copy. The blue cloth binding is bumped and rubbed to the board's edges, corners and spine ends but the gilt decoration to the front is crisp. There is some marking to the boards, particularly lower right of the front where there is old dry stain. Internally, there is foxing to the prelims but the main body of text is very clean. The inner binding is secure, if pulled a little. Hinges secure.



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