The Lays of Ancient Rome
This is one of the classic books which is still in demand even a century and a half after being first published. The Lays of Ancient Rome was written by Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay (1800-1859), politician, historian and essayist. Although his views on world being divided on civilized (everything British) and barbarian (majority of the rest of the world) are – to put it mildly – disputable – we can’t, for instance, deny his positive role in promoting education in India.
Lays of Ancient Rome was written after he got an inspiration in the jungle, when he was official member of India’s Supreme Council around 1835. It was first published in 1842 and republished many times after that. Several artists illustrated it and I decided to present the work of Paul Hardy (1862-1942), successful illustrator, who was brother, son and grand son of artists, but the most known artist in the family was probably his sister E. S. Hardy.
Majority of presented illustrations are in colors and are all in public domain, so you are free to use them if you, for instance want to enliven a seminary about ancient Rome or something similar.
As you may notice, the publisher was Ernest Nister (London) and the book was republished by E. P. Dutton & Co. (New York). The problem is the year. 1862 does not match with the creative period of illustrator, so this is probably the year when the text was edited (Lord Macaulay died three years before), or maybe this is just a typo. If we were talking about 1892, this would be very believable date, considering the printing technique by Nister (he was one of the pioneers in this field) and the style of Hardy, which varied through majority of his career.
Anyway, we are talking about original edition of The Lays of Ancient Rome with four songs, not the expanded version with additional two songs from different historical era (Ivry and The Armada).
The titles of the songs are:
The Battle of the Lake Regillus
The Prophecy of Capys
Let’s continue with the Hardy’s drawings:
If you enjoyed in these heroic scenes from ancient times, I kindly suggest to visit the presentation of Iliad in pictures by John Flaxman.
That’s it for now. See you:)