A Limerick Alphabet by Edmund Dulac

Arthur Deex has acquired a very nice copy of a rare book of limericks and has kindly chosen to share it:

Dulac, A Limerick

Lyrics Pathetic and Humorous from A to Z by Edmund Dulac (1882-1953) is a delightful Alphabet Book of 24 colorful plates (X, Y & Z are combined), each with a limerick. The book was published in London and New York in 1908 by Frederick Warne & Co. A year later in 1909 a deluxe limited edition of about 160 copies was issued in portfolio form much taller than the standard edition — large quarto, title-page and twenty-four color plates, each mounted on dark green art paper with original parchment endpapers from the book edition also mounted on folded sheets of dark green art paper.

Born in 1882 France, Dulac, a gifted teenage artist, made it through two years of studying law before the boredom of law school and the winning of a prize at the Ecole des Beaux Arts tipped him into an art career and he became a full time art student. His arrival in London in 1904 just as the “color separation” process of reproducing color plates was invented fortuitously placed him at the birth of the illustrated gift-book. Edmund Dulac became one of the five major “Golden Age” gift book illustrators. A gifted caricaturist, Dulac was at his best in Lyrics Pathetic and Humorous.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1980 published the Book of Names and Addresses: With Illustrations and Text Adapted from Lyrics Pathetic & Humorous from A to Z by Edmund Dulac. About a decade later in 1993 Abbeville Press published F was a Fanciful Frog a modern smaller reprint of Lyrics Pathetic and Humorous.

Go see it! And don’t forget that Arthur edits, writes and publishes The Pentatette, a monthly newsletter on all aspects of the limerick.

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