Wednesday, June 12, 2013

98. Charles Ricketts on Wikipedia

Charles Ricketts has had a lemma on the English version of Wikipedia since 14 October 2004. It was started by wikipedian Charles Matthews, and the lemma underwent modifications by others in the following years. The opening line of the entry in the online encyclopedia now reads:

Charles de Sousy Ricketts (2 October 1866 - 7 October 1931) was a versatile English artist, illustrator, author and printer, and is best known for his work as book designer and typographer from 1896 to 1904 with the Vale Press, and his work in the theatre as a set and costume designer.

The section 'Life and career' has three sentences on his birth and education, then quotes William Rothenstein's memoirs on his looks and mind, and mentions his initial meeting with Charles Shannon.

Charles Ricketts, design for Mikado: one of the illustrations on Wikipedia Commons
The next paragraph is about the Vale Press and Ricketts's artistic career, starting with The Dial and his illustrations for a book by Wilde (The Sphinx, although the title is not given). About the Vale Press Wikipedia writes: 

It was in the work of the Vale Press that Ricketts would find his talents were best employed. The enterprise also involved Thomas Sturge Moore, and later William Llewellyn Hacon (1860-1910), a barrister.

I do not see how the word 'later' in this paragraph can be correct.

The entry mentions facts about the printer of the books and the number of editions that were issued by the Vale Press, and it states that Ricketts was 'involved' in Pissarro's Eragny Press, which is rather vague. 

The paragraph briefly summarizes his career as a painter, and as an art critic. The last paragraph lists a number of his designs for the theatre, and mentions a play about Ricketts and Shannon by Michael MacLennan (2003).

Then follows an incomplete list of 'works', followed by footnotes, references and external links (this blog is not included).

The entry has four images, and links to entries in other languages: French, Italian, Polish and Spanish. Three of these seem to be copies of the English original, and all are shorter. The Spanish entry originates from 2011. It contains one image, and has paragraphs on his life, artistic career, and theatre designs. The Polish entry is extremely short and dates from 2008. The Italian version (with two of the images) is slightly longer, dates from the same year, and ignores his career as a book designer. The French version is not a copy of the others, and digests his career as an artist and art collector. It also mentions Shannon's accident in 1928, and Ricketts's death.

There is no lemma about the Vale Press on Wikipedia in English. However, an entry in French exists, as well as one in German, both without pictures. There is no German entry for Ricketts. A link from the English Ricketts entry to the German Vale Press lemma was removed.

The amazing world of Wikipedia...