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William Russell Sedgfield
Book cover for William & Mary Howitt, 1862, Ruined Abbeys and Castles of Great Britain, (London: A.W. Bennett)
Book cover, front
This view of the front cover of the mid-Victorian book “Ruined Abbeys and Castles of Great Britain” published in 1862 shows its rich binding of purple stamped with gold. A worn photographic roundel in the centre is a view of Conwy Castle in North Wales, built by King Edward I in the 13th Century. The photograph can be attributed to W. Russell Sedgfield; another print of the same view appears on page 107. It is framed by four vignetted shields bearing the symbols of a bishop’s mitre and crook, an abbey bell and cross, a knight’s sword and helmet, and a castle portcullis and spear. The book contains interesting historical essays by the Quaker poets and authors William and Mary Howitt, illustrated with 27 mounted photographs by Sedgfield, George Washington Wilson, Francis Bedford, McLean & Melhuish, and Roger Fenton. A second volume published in 1864 contains photographs by Sedgfield, Stephen Thompson, Thomas Ogle, and William Despard Hemphill.