Wednesday, August 25, 2021

526. CR or CR

Occasionally, book covers are incorrectly attributed to Charles Ricketts based solely on the initials CR. Recently I saw an online description of an anthology of children's poems whose cover design was 'possibly' designed by Charles Ricketts.

Poetry for Children. One Hundred of the Best Poems for the Young (reprint, 1912)

It is a part of a Pocket Anthologies series titled: Poetry for Children. One Hundred of the Best Poems for the Young, published by Gowans & Gray Ltd in London and Glasgow.

The antiquarian bookshop that offers it describes the cover as 'Glasgow-Style', and that might be a reason to interpret the initials 'CR' not as Charles Ricketts, but as, say, Charles Robinson

There are both arguments against and in favour of Robinson as the illustrator of this cover. Apparently, Robinson rarely used the initials 'CR' as a monogram for his drawings. He did work for the publishing house Cowans & Gray in Glasgow where his edition of The New Testament was published in 1903.

Such a misattribution indicates, in any case, that in some circles the name Ricketts is better known than Robinson's and that the name Ricketts is associated with books that fetch more than Robinson's.