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Heathorn, Thomas Bridges, 1831–1911

The griffinage of the Hon. Newman Strange : original drawings and published letterpress.

England, 1862.
Physical Description:
45 leaves : 21 drawings, 24 leaves of letterpress ; 44 x 63 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio B 2019 4
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Related Content:
View catalog record for the published version of The griffinage of the Hon. Newman Strange (1862)
Archives & Manuscripts
Thomas Bridges Heathorn (1831-1911) was trained as an engineer and studied in the East India Company's school at Addiscombe. He served as deputy-quartermaster of artillery during the Crimean War. He also served in India during the Indian Rebellion (1857-1858), and was later in the War Office before returning to civilian life. From the late 1850s he was author, and sometimes composer, of a number of popular songs.
Drawn in pen and black ink, with gray wash.
Bound in quarter leather and red cloth. The front cover is stamped in gold with the same design used in the final publication.
The drawings were photographically reproduced as illustrations in: The griffinage of the Hon. Newman Strange : an Indian story in twenty-one episodes, each with a chorus "as used in ye oldenne times to carrie on ye plotte," identify the subject, and elaborate each successive incident / by T.B.H., R.A. ; photographed from the original drawings by J. Hogarth, Jun. (London: J. Hogarth, 5 Haymarket, Dec. 20, 1862). In the present album, Heathorn's drawings are interfiled with letterpress leaves from the finished publication (the drawings in lieu of the photographic reproductions). The sheets of drawings and letterpress alike are mounted on the larger leaves of the album. For a record of the conventional publication, see link herewith.
The drawings contribute to a satirical story, the words for which appear at bottom (in manuscript). A "griffin" was a cadet newly arrived in British India, and the griffin of the present story is in the "Thunderers," i.e. the artillery. The story is told largely through pictures and concerns Newman Strange's voyage to India, his adventures on station, his wooing of the "station belle," an episode with the "Sirdar of Jum Jum," and his involvement in the Indian Rebellion of 1857. In the end he marries his "belle," the daughter of "Sir Mango Chutnee Curry Bhat," in a church in the mountains. Each illustration includes an elaborate frame, combining decorative or emblematic elements with vignette scenes of daily life in the Raj. On the title-page (or frontispiece) the letters of "The Griffinage" are made up by "a corps of Indian Jugglers" and snake-charmers. Other vignettes/borders feature a horse being unloaded from a boat, a boar hunt, military formations, men riding elephants, a line of servants bearing dishes for a feast, and camel skeletons in the desert. Drawings of Indian figures demonstrate ethnic stereotypes.
Subject Terms:
British -- India -- Fiction.
East India Company -- Fiction.
Great Britain. Army. Royal Regiment of Artillery -- Fiction.
India -- Description and travel -- Fiction.
India -- History -- Sepoy Rebellion, 1857-1858 -- Fiction.
Ink drawings.
Ethnic stereotypes.

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