Two eighteenth-century essays with linocuts by David Esslemont
'On the folly and wickedness of war' and 'Nancy Collins', from The Hive of Ancient and Modern Literature, first published in 1799 by Solomon Hodgson in Newcastle upon Tyne. This collection of ‘essays, narratives, allegories, and instructive compositions’ was intended for use in schools and was one of many similar volumes.
Drawn to The Hive by its illustrations – wood engravings by Thomas Bewick and Luke Clennell – I published one of the tales, ‘The distresses of a modest man’ as The Fall of Xenophon. While I was looking for a sequel, these two essays caught my attention – they make salient and worthwhile reading with which one can draw many parallels.
The arguments and tenets of ‘On the folly and wickedness of war’ convey an eighteenth-century view and while the nature of war may have changed, it seems the causes, horrors and consequences have not.
‘Nancy Collins’ is a sad tale, full of melodrama, that tells of the misery that befalls the innocent victims of war – the families of those involved in the conflict.
Many suffer because of war. Despite twenty-four-hour media coverage and propaganda, the unspeakable horror and ramifications remain unimaginable.
The linocuts are based on details of the contemporary wood-engraved illustrations by Thomas Bewick and Luke Clennell for The Hive of Ancient and Modern Literature.
Printed in an edition of 100. The typeface is Adobe OpenType Bembo, the
paper is acid-free mould made 145g Zerkall 7625. Bound by David Esslemont
in full paste-grained paper boards and paper wrappers.
16 pp, 250 x 163 mm (10 x 6.5 inches)
Sixty copies for sale: £60 ($100)
Published in October 2004.