British illustrator and cartoonist for Punch and the Illustrated London News. He was the illustrator of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
ALS. 2pp. 32 Brunswick Square. April 19th, 1859. To Francis Francis.
"I have finished the third plate. It is now undergoing what is technically called 'biting in' and it will be at Hurst & Blackett tomorrow morning. I hope you may like it. The Minuet is not least correct as I had the 'great' D'Egville to stand for it. I don't think you need be afraid of missing any of your salmon fishing just yet. I was in Connemara a week ago. Not a sign of a fish, altho' the weather was very favourable."
8vo. Approx 7.25 x 4.5 inches. 3 small perforation holes through centre (probably from a filing spike). Mounting traces to top edge of blank verso of last leaf. All else very good.
Francis Francis (1822-1886) was an English novelist and writer who wrote many books on angling. He was angling editor of the field for more than a quarter of a century. The plate which John Leech refers to in his letter was, however, for one of Francis's early humorous works, either 'Pickackifax' a novel in rhyme, or 'The Real Salt' a yachting story, both of which were published by Hurst & Blackett in 1854. "The great D'Egville" who posed for Leech's engraving of the minuet must have been George D'Egville (rather than his father or more accomplished brother), all were noted dancers of the late 18th and early 19th century. Along with George Cruikshank and Hablot Browne, John Leech was one of the great illustrators of the Victorian period.