The Conquest of Mexico. By W. H.
Prescott. Illustrated by Keith Hen-
derson. With an Introduction by T. A.
Joyce, of the British Museum. 2 vols.
(London : Chatto & Windus.) £2 2s.
net.—“ This edition,” says Mr. Keith
Henderson, “ is the outcome of an obses-
sion, a certainty that, when at last the
War should come to an end, I must make
a picture-book of the Conquest of Mexico
. . . this book seemed to me like the
ship in which I would sail away to un-
discovered islands.” And so, setting out
on his voyage, he landed on that treasure
island in Bloomsbury where fresh and
interesting discoveries always await an
explorer as eager as Mr. Henderson. In
Mr. Joyce, Deputy Keeper of the Ethno-
graphical Collections, he found an indul-
gent and erudite guide who, warmly
interested in the carrying-out of his
project, expresses his gratification at its
successful realisation. As he says, Mr.
Henderson’s illustrations have the merit
not only of being artistic productions but
they are “ by far the most correct inter-
pretations of ancient Mexican costumes,
ornaments, and warlike equipment which
have yet supplemented the text of a history
of that country,” forming “ a pictorial
commentary upon the work of a great
historian which is not only in every way
worthy of it but even adds to its value.”
And the value of that work to-day, eighty
years after its first appearance, has scarcely
diminished, for, as Mr. Joyce says in his
Introduction, “ few historical treatises have
stood the test of time so triumphantly.” 0
Contemporary English Woodcuts. Intro-
duction by Campbell Dodgson, C.B.E.
(London : Duckworth & Co.) 425. net.—
This tastefully produced album contains
twenty-seven woodcuts, printed one on a
page (or rather leaf) of vellum-like paper,
and representing the work of eighteen
different artists, about half of whom are
members of the Society of Wood Engravers,
which is now in the third year of its
existence. With one exception they all
belong to the younger school, and the
selection is intended to convey an idea
of the variety of talent and accomplishment
possessed by this generation of artists who
have found in the woodblock a congenial
medium for original expression. Various
tendencies are illustrated in these examples.
Cubistic design has a fascination for
Mr. Gibbings, Mr. Kauffer and Mr.
Wadsworth ; but most of them seem to
prefer less powerful contrasts of black-
and-white. Some very beautiful examples
of the use of white line and spaces are
among them. The chief phases in the
history of the art of wood-engraving are
briefly summarised in Mr. Campbell
Dodgson’s Introduction. 0 a a
Elements of Lettering. By Frederick W.
Goudy. (London : John Lane, The
Bodley Head, Ltd.) 25s. net. This manual
—a companion to the author’s previous
work on The Alphabet, which we noticed
a few months ago—has been prepared in
response to requests for some plain letter-
ings, illustrating a sufficient variety of
styles to enable a craftsman to select just
the kind he requires for work in hand.
The examples reproduced in the thirteen
plates comprise the Forum Title derived
from the lapidary inscription on the Trajan
column, the Caslon Old Style (roman and
italic), the ” Bodoni Book ” style, and
Lombardic capitals, and several styles
bearing the author’s name, such as “Goudy
Old Style,” “Goudy Bold,” “Goudy
Black,” and “ Goudy Gothic,” as well as
two pages of the “ Kennerley Old Style ”
(roman and italic), also designed by him.
This last deserves all the praise that has
been bestowed upon it by connoisseurs,
and is indeed justly entitled to be regarded
as one of the greatest triumphs in the history
of typographic art since Caslon’s day, a
Heraldry and Floral Forms as used in
Decoration. By Herbert Cole. (London :
J. M. Dent and Sons, Ltd.) 105. 6d. net.
The two parts into which this handbook
is divided may, for practical purposes, be
each regarded as a complete work in itself.
The first deals with heraldry from the
point of view of its decorative applications,
due regard being paid to the rules of
blazonry, so often ignored or transgressed
by designers and craftsmen; while the
second part is devoted to the manifold
ways in which floral motives are employed
in decoration. Both divisions are abund-
antly illustrated from line drawings made
by the author. 0000