Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Gallery 2: The Work of Henry Matthew Brock

Our second gallery will, of course, focus on the artist responsible for the various works featured in the second novel by George Mills.

King Willow, the sequel to 1933's Meredith and Co., was published in London in 1938 by Geo. G. Harrap and Co., Ltd.

King Willow was illustrated by the talented Henry Matthew Brock, younger brother of C. E. Brock.

This first edition of King Willow is not only complete with a full colour frontispiece and four black line interior plates, but Brock was commissioned to embellish the text, from the cloth-bound boards of its exterior to small illustrations designed around the text of the tables of contents and illustrations [click to enlarge any image].

Brock's powerful and confident line brings a real clarity to certain of the interior illustrations that belies the whimsical quality of many others. His quality of line takes on the emotion of each illustration in a way that one can almost feel his hand interpreting the scenario found in the text as he drew it. Take for example, the contrast between the idyllic napper resting above the words "Chapter I," and the stern, authoritarian feel that is almost palpable in "Go down to my study, and wait for me."

"Go down to my study, and wait for me" (Page 99)

H. M. Brock may be the younger sibling of a noted older brother, but he clearly does not play second fiddle here. Of C. E. Brock, Wikipedia states: "He and his brothers maintained a Cambridge studio filled with various curios, antiques, furniture, and a costume collection. Using these, family members would model for each other."

"Murray picked up the dressing-gown and searched it" (Page 66)

"Puffing and panting and glaring at each other" (Page 131)

"Uggles occupied a good deal of the space" (Page 191)

The third book of George Mills—Minor and Major—will be the subject of the exhibition of our third gallery of artwork. Please don't miss the opening reception. Perhaps I'll serve wine and cheese…

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