Title-page for ‘Little Bird Red and Little Bird Blue’


Thomas Robert Macquoid

Wood-engraving in colour by Edmund Evans

5½ x 4¾ inches

M. Betham Edwards,Little Bird Red and Little Bird Blue, 1861, title-page.

A delicate, lyrical design of birds enclosed in a rose border; the sweetness of the image is intensified by the colour printing and the overall effect is well-suited to the text, which is about the wonder of nature, and to the juvenile audience for which it was intended. There is however a strange mismatch between the botanical exactitude of the floral accessories and the birds, which do not seem to depict any particular species but represent the author’s generic types (although they both appear to be finches). The book was published, with a number of variations, by James G. Gregory, New York [circa 1862].

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Scanned image and text by Simon Cooke.

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