Back cover of "Ruined Abbeys and Castles of Great Britain and Ireland"
This view of the back cover of the mid-Victorian book “Ruined abbeys and castles of Great Britain and Ireland” shows its rich binding in cobalt blue stamped with gold. A worn photographic roundel in the centre is an unidentified bird's eye view of what is probably a ruined abbey, as a church tower can be faintly seen, with a bridge spanning a river in the foreground. It is framed by four vignetted shields bearing the symbols of a bishop’s mitre and crook, an abbey bell and cross, a knight’s sword and helmet, and a castle portcullis and spear. The book contains interesting historical essays by the Quaker poet and author William Howitt, illustrated with 26 mounted photographs by Stephen Thompson, W. Russell Sedgfield, Thomas Ogle and William Despard Hemphill. It followed an earlier volume on the same theme published in 1862, co-authored by Howitt and his wife Mary, with photographs by Sedgfield, George Washington Wilson, Francis Bedford, McLean & Melhuish, and Roger Fenton.