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EDITED BY EDGAR TAYLOR,
TORE than forty years ago (in 1823) Mr. Edgar Taylor presented IV to English readers the first selection which had been made from the famous “ Hausmärchen," or German Popular Stories of the Brothers Grimm. The first volume, which had been selected and translated by Mr. Taylor and a circle of relatives, appeared with twelve wonderful etchings by George Cruikshank, and was received with so much favour that, three years after, a second series was prepared by Mr. Taylor alone, to which the same artist contributed ten more illustrations. Both series passed through two or three editions soon after publication; and when Messrs. Robins the publishers retired from business, the work became very scarce. At the present day, when the collectors of the works of Cruikshank are greatly increasing in number, the two volumes, originally sold for 12s., are worth at least £5 or £6! They are the most prized of all the fine works of the great master. On the continent, too, these etchings quickly attracted attention. Copies were made in Germany; and one Ambrose Tardieu, a Frenchman, took such a special fancy to them that he copied the first series to the best of his ability, and then issued them in a small volume as his own production".
The present volume is a faithful reprint of both series. The etchings, most carefully following the originals, are considered masterpieces of reproduction. What is thought of these designs by artists in this country Mr. John Ruskin very eloquently told us many pears ago in
* The title of the book was “Vieux CONTES pour l'Amusement des Grands et des Petits enfans, ornés de 12 gravures comiques, Paris, A. Boulland, 1830." I had never seen the impudent littlo volume until M. Octave Delepierre obligingly showed it to me.