Edward Lear’s Romulus and Remus

The following is another picture story available from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, where you will find higher resolution scans.

It is the incomplete (or unfinished) companion to Edward Lear’s other Roman history: The Tragical Life and Death of Caius Marius Esqre  late her Majesty’s Consul-general  in the Roman states: illustrated from authentic sauces, consisting of 23 pictures which Lear drew for the family of Edward Penrhyn at East Sheen on 30 October 1841 (published in a limited edition by Justin G. Schiller in 1983; the MS is now at Cotsen Children’s Libary, Princeton University).

Romulus and Remus was presumably made in the same context and, the paper bearing a partial watermark (“[18]41”), at the same time. It is a parody of the traditional story of the founding of Rome according to Livy (The History of Rome Book I, 1.3 and 1.4) and anticipates such comic histories as Gilbert Abbot à Beckett’s Comic History of England and Comic History of Rome (both illustrated by John Leech).

1. Mr. Amulius seizes his majesty Numitor's crown.

1. Mr. Amulius seizes his majesty Numitor’s crown.

2. Mr. Amulius exposes his nephews, Master Romulus & Master Remus on the Tiber, quite unconscious of their danger.

2. Mr. Amulius exposes his nephews, Master Romulus & Master Remus on the Tiber, quite unconscious of their danger.

3. Master Romulus & Master Remus is suckled by a great wolf.

3. Master Romulus & Master Remus is suckled by a great wolf.

4. Master Remus & Master Romulus grow up and become shepherds.

4. Master Remus & Master Romulus grow up and become shepherds.

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