Extra-illustration or ‘grangerising’

Extra-illustration, or ‘grangerising’, was the practice of adding thematically linked illustrative material to books and was popular in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. ‘Grangerising’ is named after James Granger whose unillustrated book published in 1769 called A Biographical History of England, from Egbert the Great to the Revolution contained biographies with lists of portraits. After its publication, it became popular to add actual portraits to Granger’s book and so the practice of ‘grangerising’ began. The practice spread to other texts including the works of Shakespeare. Paradoxically, Granger never actually ‘grangerised’ a book himself.[1][2]

Items used to extra-illustrate or ‘grangerise’ texts might include prints, artwork and other visual materials relevant to the contents of the book being augmented. Books and periodicals were necessarily broken up in order to extract prints leaving the original publication damaged with some or all of its illustrations removed.

The journalist George Augustus Sala wrote in The Illustrated London News in November 1882 that the ‘only drawback to Grangerism is that it leads to the plunder and mutilation of valuable books for the for the enrichment and amplification of others’.[3] As we have seen, some of the prints in Views of England and Wales were removed from books and periodicals. Perhaps they were removed for the purpose of ‘grangerising’, before eventually finding their way into the hands of those who assembled Views of England and Wales many years later?

Archives and Special Collections at the University of Leicester holds an extra-illustrated or ‘grangerised’ version of The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent by Edward Hasted, which was first published between 1778 and 1799.[4] Many prints have been added into the volumes including some of Greenwich Hospital. One of them is almost identical to one which can be found in Views of England and Wales. The similarities between the two can be seen below and suggest that they were both copied from the same source.

Greenwich Hospital in The history and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent, Volume 1, [Part 2].jpg

View of Greenwich Hospital in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent, Volume 1 (Canterbury: 1778), p. 23.

View of Greenwich Hospital

View of Greenwich Hospital from Views of England and Wales.

[1] Malcolmson, C. M., ‘Constructing Charles Dickens: 1900-1940’ 607’ (unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Leicester, 2012), pp. 129-134.

[2] Jackson, H. J., Marginalia: Readers Writing in Books (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), pp. 185-188.

[3] Sala, G. A., The Illustrated London News, Saturday November 4th 1882, volume 81, issue 2270, p. 463.

[4] Hasted, E., The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent , 4 volumes (Canterbury, 1778-1799). (Ref: SCD 01079)

Sources of Prints
Extra-illustration or ‘grangerising’