Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/458
sketch of the series. The best of these forty-three "pictures" is the one which faces the title-page, a gathering of the company which individually take part in this "gallery of illustration." The designs are characteristic of the artist's style, but possess little power of attraction, being destitute of any claim to originality either of conception or treatment The artist's share of the work is by far the best part of the somewhat lugubrious entertainment, which the performances of his literary associates scarcely serve to enliven. The book, however, was a success in its day, for, if we mistake not, it was followed by a second series, is even now sought after by the "collector" (not bibliomaniac), and possesses some historical value by reason of the fact that national types, such as The Diner-out, The Stockbroker, The Lion of the Party, The Fashionable Physician (that is to say, of 1840), The Linen Drapers Assistant, The Barmaid, The Family Governess, The Postman, The Theatrical Manager, The Farmer's Daughter, and The Young Lord, no longer live and move and act their part amongst us. A change comes over the people in the course of forty years, and some years hence our grandchildren may well smile at the extraordinary monstrosities (female) who figure in the graphic satires of 1883–4.
Kenny Meadows was the son of a retired naval officer, and was born at Cardigan on the first of November, 1790. You will look in vain for any notice of him, or of his services in the cause of illustrative art, in any of the biographical dictionaries of his own or a subsequent period; and this appears to us an unaccountable omission, for he achieved in his time considerable celebrity as an artistic illustrator of books. His work will be found bound up with that of most of his artistic confrères in nearly all the illustrated periodicals of his day; he was one of the first to introduce wood-engraving among English publishers as a means of cheap and popular illustration; he was employed by the late Mr. Ingram, in the designs for the early Christmas numbers of the Illustrated London News; he will be found amongst the number of the artists who illustrated the early volumes of Punch; he was in universal request as a designer of drawings to fairy and fanciful stories;