Michael Clancy The Great Dhoul And Death (1893)
Book ID: 62148
Michael Clancy the Great Dhoul and Death. Illustrated by Jack B. Yeats. Sole Edition Published in ‘The Old Country’ December 1893. Dublin: Sealy, Bryers & Walker, 1893. Lacks original wrappers, bound in half cloth paper boards. Bookplate designed by Jack B. Yeats to front pastedown. Pp 199, page of advertisments to rear. A good copy, housed in collector’s solander box.
Only one issue of this periodical was published. Yeats writing to Frederick Langbridge in September 1893 about an Irish story for ‘The Old Country: A Christmas Annual’ said ‘I think my story would be just the kind of thing for my brother to illustrate.’
Yeats had developed Michael Clancy from a tale he had heard in Sligo and it was published in the Annual along with two unpublished poems by Lord Byron and Thomas Moore, a nocturne by Edward Dowden, a poem by Katherine Tynan some illustrations by Edith Somerville and a drawing from a photograph by Walter Osbourne. WBY tale tells of a pot-mender’s methods of tricking death and the devil. Perhaps because of the company of such writers and artists of such long standing, JBY decided to use a technique which he had never used before and would use only once again. The wash drawing are more typical of his father and a common enough method of pictorial illustration. Jack took naturally to line illustration, and identified with the black& white movement of the 1890s. However his illustrations show his willingness to experiment with new media. JBY added six small drawings in gouche on board, choosing to illustrate dramatic incidents such as Michael & the blacksmith belabouring the imprisoned devil on an anvil. His drawing are full of life and movement. His finial picture showing Michael transformed into a salmon leaping out of the water, achieves drama in a few lines washed over with the grey tone. His father’s (John B. Yeats) illustrations in the same issue make for an interesting comparison, being more conventional in style, depicting characters rather than event. [Hillary Pyle. Jack B Yeats Illustrations for his Brother :Yeats Annual No 11]