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The Masque of the Red Death (1842) - Edgar Allan Poe

The Masque of the Red Death is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1842.

It was adapted by film director Roger Corman as a classic film (1964) starring Vincent Price, which, like the story, ends with the sentence:

And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.
--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Masque_of_the_Red_Death [Nov 2004]

Illustrated London News (1842)

Illustrated London News

This new journalistic form began in England in 1842 with the Illustrated London News. The illustrated newspaper was the television of its age, creating an impact by giving a new dimension to the news. This lively form of journalism presented the news of the world at large, using artist-engravers as illustrator-writers, an early version of correspondents. --http://www.printsoldandrare.com/homermore.html [Dec 2004]

The first modern news picture appeared in the "The Illustrated London News" in 1842. It showed the attempted assassination of Queen Victoria.

However the picture was simply an artist's impression of what had happened. No camera at the time could have caught the action and there wasn't a mechanical way to reproduce the photograph even if it had been taken.

Artists at that time would make a sketch of the scene, followed by a more detailed drawing. The drawing would be copied, sometimes in reverse, onto a smooth block of wood. A craftsman would cut away all the surface except the lines to be printed. In these pictures shadows were represented by many small separate strokes.

The finished block would then be pressed into clay, making an impression of the image. Molten type metal was then poured onto the clay making a cast. This cast plate was used in the ‘letterpress’ printing process where raised areas of metal carry the ink.

When photography came into use in the 1840’s it did not alter newspaper reporting because the wood engraving and printing processes of the time could only render solid backs and whites. The intermediate shades of grey found in a photograph could not be reproduced.

Photography simply supported the engraving process by replacing the initial artist drawn sketch of the scene. In 1891 in the USA alone there were 1,000 artists producing more than 10,000 drawings a week for the press. --http://www.ted.photographer.org.uk/photohistory_inprint.htm [Dec 2004]

On May 14th 1842, the first issue of the Illustrated London News was published. Its founder was a young printer, Herbert Ingram, a native of Boston, Lincolnshire. He had come to London and had decided that the time was ripe for the public to have a newspaper full of pictures in addition to the printed word.

Each piccture had to be drwan by an artist and then engraved by hand on pieces of box-wood. Captions and articles had to be hand-set, letter by letter. A small steam engine powered the printing machine. --http://www.iln.org.uk/iln_years/ilnhist1951.htm [Dec 2004]

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