London: Eyre & Spottiswoode (Bible Warehouse) Ltd., c.1905. First edition. Quarto (10 1/8 inches tall), original gilt-stamped beveled black cloth, top edge gilt. Gilt bright, very minor wear to spine ends and corners. A bright, sharp-cornered copy. Item #1118
"AND LO, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, EVEN UNTO THE END OF THE WORLD" (S. MATT. XXVIIII. 20.)
First edition of this Life of Christ, illustrated with 80 color plates by William Hole—a splendid copy in the original extra-gilt quarto binding. Eyre and Spottiswoode were clearly aiming at the lucrative Christmas market with this deluxe "Gift Book," illustrated by the Scottish artist William Hole with an extra-gilt binding, colored title page vignette, and 80 color-printed plates. With a brief Prefatory Note by the artist, along with an extensive appendix of his Notes on Pictures Illustrating the Life of Jesus. Hole characterizes the realistic, unadorned style of his illustrations as "nothing more than was visible to the outward eye of a contemporary...follower of the prophet of Nazareth." The corresponding text, composed of numbered passages from the New Testament, complements the plates with the purposeful "omission of the customary titles of reverence, using instead the simple nomenclature of the Gospels." With a lengthy Preface by William Sinclair, Archdeacon of London, providing extended commentary (in five parts) on the illustrations of that "Life which transcends in intensity of interest the biographies of even the greatest of men." Introductory Note by George Adam Smith, Professor in the United Free Church College, Glasgow, praising the illustrations for "the grace of their influence: a freshness born not of mere skill, but of truth and reverence." With the printer's colophon in black on the last page.