5. A friend of youth.
This early picture of boys enjoying themselves at a swimming hole appears in a book describing sports and country life, not the miseries of boarding school life as the title suggests.
The artist’s identity remains a mystery, even though he had a distinctive style and worked for a very famous nineteenth-century children's book publisher. Only a few of the blocks he cut were signed: “W.” He seems to have had an affinity for genre scenes, having produced a volume of London cries and another of urban personalities.
Various examples of W’s vigorous wood engravings are reproduced in Lawrence Darton’s The Dartons: An Annotated Check-list of Children’s Books issued by Two Publishing Houses, 1787-1876 (London/ New Castle, Delaware: The British Library/ Oak Knoll Press, 2004).