Facing the text

Extra-illustration, print culture and society in Britain 1769–1840

By Lucy Peltz

Facing the text

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-8732-8261-1
  • Pages: 424
  • Publisher: Huntington Library Press
  • Price: £115.00
  • Published Date: May 2017
  • BIC Category: ART / History / General, HISTORY / Social History, The arts / History of art & design styles: c 1800 to c 1900, The arts / History of art & design styles: c 1600 to c 1800, United Kingdom, Great Britain, Social & cultural history, Later 18th century c 1750 to c 1799, History of art, Early 19th century c 1800 to c 1850, The arts / History of art / art & design styles, Humanities / Social & cultural history


During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, thousands of books were customized with prints and drawings in a practice called extra-illustration. These books were often massively extended, lavishly bound, and prized by their owners as objects of display, status, and exchange. The scale of these compilations as well as their interdisciplinary nature - at once literary texts, printed books, art collections, and indexes of visual culture - have typically excluded them from histories of art and literature.

In this book, Lucy Peltz maps a history of extra-illustration and its social and cultural meanings, providing a fascinating account of the practice itself and the often colourful personalities who engaged in it. The remarkable contents of key extra-illustrated books are explored, along with the broader historical and commercial contexts in which they were produced and enjoyed.


'A handsome tome [.], as full of apposite illustrations as its subject. [Facing the text] will be of immense use to the many institutions who have contributed to it, and it has added a new and original chapter to the social history of Britain.'
Nicolas Barker, The Library, 7.19.2, June 2018

'This study is about the practice of 'Grangerizing' books [.] and the core of this book by Lucy Peltz deals with the golden age of the extra-illustration that Granger inspired. [.] a detailed and lavishly illustrated account. Indeed, one of the most striking features of the book is its luxurious landscape format, which enables the author to reproduce a myriad of examples of openings from the extra-illustrated books to which it is devoted, literally showing the way in which the rare portraits and views which their owners collected were juxtaposed with the text, often also being lovingly annotated with data about their provenance and significance.'
Michael Hunter, Birkbeck, University of London, The English Historical Review, 2018

'The book reveals in its text and its bibliography Peltz's extensive reading, and succeeds in being both theoretically grounded and clearly written, with perhaps a touch of the lecturer in the first-person authorial interjections as to where next she wants to turn or explore or excavate. Clearly the Huntington has gone to considerable trouble to realize the visual riches that Peltz describes, and the book's oblong format and copious colour illustrations give the reader something of the experience of turning the pages in one of the extra-illustrated volumes to which it is devoted.'
Stephen Clarke, Print Quarterly, XXXV, 2018, 3.



Historians of British Art Book Award for Exemplary Scholarship on the Period after 1800


Introduction: A Long History of Extra-Illustration
Part I: Getting your heads in order: engraved portrait collecting and the origins of extra-illustration
1. 'Of collectors of English portrait prints'
2. Genteel authorship, the community of the antiquarian text, and the invention of extra-illustration
3. Portraiture, order, and meaning
4. John, Lord Mountstuart and the Ends of the Bull Granger
Part II: From domestic retirement to a commercial marketplace: amateurs, antiquaries, and entrepreneurs
5. "Retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books": amateurism and its trophies
6. Charting the craze: Anthony Storer and Richard Bull
7. The Strawberry Hill Press and the rituals of bibliographic exchange
8. Antiquarian topography or armchair tourism: Thomas Pennant's "Labors"
9. Popularizing Pennant's London: how the art world sold extra-illustration
Part III: The Sutherland Clarendon: gender, the print market, and national heritage
10. "Buried under its own Grandeur": understanding the Sutherland Clarendon
12. The cut and thrust of the print market in the early nineteenth century
13. Women, widowhood, and collecting: Charlotte Sutherland's Inheritance
14. Monumentalizing the Sutherland Clarendon: between rhetoric and content, 1820-1839
15. The female connoisseur and the private catalogue
16. A "National Work" completed: the Sutherland Clarendon and cultural heritage
Epilogue: Rethinking the past, securing the future
Select bibliography


Lucy Peltz is Senior Curator of Eighteenth-Century Collections and Head of Collections Displays (Tudor to Regency) at the National Portrait Gallery, London

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