1842 – 1885. Ελλάδα, ιστορική, εικονογραφημένη... [1842 – 1885. Greece, historical, illustrated. A complete collection of historical, topographical and artistic documents...], Athens, Nikolas Books, 1984.
The edition consists of material from the engravings collection of Cypriot book antiquarian A. Nikolas. It includes mainly engravings and related articles from “The Illustrated London News” and “The Graphic”, in the original and in Greek translation. These publications deal with historical, political, social and other events and issues of the Greek state and Greek territories from 1842 to 1885.
A list of the subjects covered would include events from the reign of king Otto, English rule in the Ionian islands and their incorporation into the Greek state, the uprise in Thessaly and Epirus, the arrival of king George I, the explosion of Santorini volcano, the Cretan revolution and the blowing up of Arkadi monastery, the creation of the Athens-Patras railway line, the international conventions in Paris, Berlin and San Stefano, Istanbul, on the Eastern question, the earthquake of Chios, the assassination of the foreign consuls in Thessaloniki etc.
The British magazine “Illustrated London News” was founded by Nathaniel Cooke, Herbert Ingram and Mark Lemon. It was first released on 14 May 1842 and soon achieved great circulation, making news and and articles by correspondents from all over the world available to the general public for the first time. It was printed in large format, with the novel feature that all articles were illustrated with highly elaborate and polished wood engravings. Well-known journalists, authors, artists, engravers and later on photographers collaborated in the review. It was issued weekly until 1971, when it turned into a monthly review, to become bi-monthly in 1989. In 2003 circulation ceased. Illustrated London News Ltd. continues to manage the magazine's digital archive and to publish historical editions aimed at the general public, sourcing the material from the archived articles.
The concept of an illustrated magazine soon created several competitors to the “Illustrated News”. Thus, the illustrated review “The Graphic” was issued from 1869 to 1932, printed on luxury paper and illustrated with masterly engravings.
Several of the wood engravings were reprinted in other European and American editions, including the Greek reviews “Bretanikos Aster” (London 1860-1862), and “Esperos” (Leipzig, 1881-1888).
The articles are illustrated with wood engravings. In the 15th century, when Gutenberg invented the movable type press, wood became the most widely used printing material. Gradually, in the next centuries (16th to 18th) printers started to favour copper, stone (lithographs), steel or even aquatints. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Thomas Bewick came up with several innovations in wood engravings, which greatly enhanced the technique; thus it was used again in book illustration. The last thirty years of the 19th century saw the steady expansion of photography, while at the same time illustrated editions were enriched with plates made in some of the older techniques.
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou
- 1842 – 1885. Ελλάδα, ιστορική, εικονογραφημένη... [1842 – 1885. Greece, historical, illustrated. A complete collection of historical, topographical and artistic documents...], Athens, Nikolas Books, 1984.