One of the reasons I’m a very bad book dealer is that when cataloging stock books, I’m far too easily distracted by an interesting or pretty book and get tempted into doing a little research. In the early hours of this morning, it was this lovely edition of Mrs Henry Wood’s Danesbury House which made me set aside the tools of trade and dive into the text books (and Google, of course). Initially it was the glorious blind embossing on the cover that got me going, but then the fine monochrome plate illustrations by one F C Luckhurst piqued interest too: I lucked out on Luckhurst, as it were, with almost no information on the illustrator either on the net or on my bookshelves. Finding out more about Luckhurst will have to await a trip to the Library, unless of course, you know more…but I did discover an interesting and pleasing history behind the publication of Danesbury House.
Danesbury House – Mrs Henry Wood’s first novel – was written in haste in 1860. Mrs Wood was already an established short story writer having contributed regularly for the previous decade or so to the New Monthly Magazine and Bentley’s Miscellany.