William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare. The works of Shakspere.London, 1844.

William Shakespeare. The works of Shakspere. London, 1844.

The illustrator of this work, Joseph Kenny Meadows (c. 1790-1874), was born at Cardigan. In 1823 he moved to London, where he was a pioneer of wood-engraving as a means of producing illustration cheaply. His ambition was to produce a complete illustrated Shakespeare, and this he accomplished between 1839 and 1843 by designing upwards of 1000 plates for Barry Cornwall's three-volume edition.

His  illustrations for the project have been acclaimed as among the finest of the nineteenth century. Despite his slight frame and chronic rheumatism, Meadows was known as Iron Jack for his stamina and capacity to hold his liquor.