Unattributed. “The Ministerial Side of the House of Commons”.
London: Illustrated London News, February 4, 1854. Supplement. 20 ½ x 30 ¼. (image). Wood engraving. With folds as originally issued. Repaired tears in margins and two small holes in image filled and inpainted. Two small holes in left hand margin not affecting image. Else very good condition.
A fantastic and wonderfully detailed view of House of Commons. Beginning just before the middle of the nineteenth century, in England and then America, illustrated weekly newspapers made their appearance. These folio sized papers covered current events of local, national and international import, printed fiction and poetry by prominent authors, recounted gossip of note, described popular tourist sites, and generally were filled with stories on any subject that might be of interest to the reading public of the second half of the nineteenth century.
The popularity of these newspapers, however, was due to the manifold wood engraved prints which graced almost every page of the issues. These pictures provide us today with one of the best sources for lively and informative images of the period. With photographs in a primitive stage it is through these illustrations that the public got its visual information about the events, personalities and places of the time. These illustrations are also one of the few resources we have today for these same things. While originally issued in large numbers, few have survived the ages in good condition. The Illustrated London News was the first illustrated newspaper, beginning in 1842, and it continued to be the most influential throughout its life. It included genre subjects, portraits, views and many other fascinating images of nineteenth century America and Europe. This is an interesting, historical and very collectible print.