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Reviews and Magazines

The “Dial”: an Occasional Publication. Edited by C. S. Ricketts and C. H. Shannon. London: L. Hacon and C. S. Ricketts. 1896.

    The “Dial’s” visits are like the angels’, and therefore the more welcome. No. I. appeared, if we remember right, in 1889, but 1896 only brings us to No. IV. Art quarterlies, sprung into vogue through the “Yellow Book,” which in its turn was suggested, doubtless, by the “Hobby Horse,” and possibly by the “Dial” itself, have come to flourish among us since the “Dial” began its highly occasional career, but it remains the same, uninfluenced by passing fashions. Like its predecessors, it is interesting and original, with just a spice of the eccentric. No eccentricity, however, mars the originality of Mr. Shannon. We have seen more fascinating lithographs of his, perhaps, than the two included here, but both are fine, each in its way. One might think that something is lost by the avoidance of clear line in the drawing of the limbs in the “Atalanta”; but Mr. Shannon has doubtless his reasons. The “Studies of Mice,” too, are perfectly delightful: if so exquisite in the reproduction, what must they be in the original silver point? Mr. Pissarro’s woodcut of Little Red Riding Hood is as full of charm as it is admirable in workmanship. Mr. John Gray pervades the letterpress, both in prose and verse. Of Mr. Ricketts’s work there are characteristic examples; the most notable of which, as it happens, is not in the magazine itself, but in the specimen of the new type designed by him issued with it. This is a more important event than even the fourth appearance of the “Dial.” Not that the type appears to us absolutely satisfying: it seems to us to have, though in a much less degree, the defect of the Kelmscott types, a want of serenity; but it is, we think there can be no question, superior in every way to the Kelmscott types, and the capitals especially strike us as beautiful. In any case the designing and casting of such a type is an event, and one which will surely influence the condition of printing in our day.

MLA citation:

“The ‘Dial’: an Occasional Publication.” Rev. of The Dial, vols. 1-4, 1889-1896, The Saturday Review, vol. 81, no. 2113, 25 April 1896, p. 439. Yellow Nineties 2.0, edited by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2020.