My copy of this book is unusual. It is a bound collection of proof engravings, printed only one side and measuring in size of single page 17.5 x 24cms I admired Maclise for his sternly repetitive and mechanical book illustrations, limited in imagination and compositional formats. This is by far his best campaign, even though highly derivative from the German models he was studying. Much unconscious humour is to be found, particularly in the dragon and the sea-weed above. The all pervading soppiness is hard to handle, but worth a try.


He was forty when he completed the commission. No hint of the roistering lad and pal of Dickens.