Frederick Walker, 'Autumn Days'

Frederick Walker, 'Autumn Days'

Frederick Walker (1840-1875)
Illustration to 'Autumn Days' by Dora Greenwell (1821-1882), published in 'A Round of Days' (1866); 'Picture Posies' (1874); 'English Rustic Pictures' (1882).
Edited and engraved by the Dalziel Brothers
1862
Wood engraving
Museum no. E.2960-1904

The process of wood engraving required highly skilled craftsmen. It became the most popular form of book illustration in the mid-19th century.  Wood engravings were engraved on dense boxwood blocks which were then set and printed together with the type. The Dalziel Brothers (active 1839-1905) was one of the most influential wood engraving, printing and publishing firms from the 1860s to the 1880s. In 1857 they founded the Camden Press so that they could print and publish fine art or gift books such as the Bible Gallery, for which this engraving was done. They also wood engraved and printed for many of the leading publishers and periodicals of the period, playing a vital role in the flourishing of black and white illustration in the 1860s. From 1871 to 1879 the Dalziels were also in charge of the illustrations and engraving of the Household edition of Charles Dickens (1812-1870).

Frederick Walker was commissioned by the Dalziel Brothers to produce a series of prints. They gave him free rein to choose his subjects and then had poems written to suit the images.