The Dolly Dialogues Arthur Rackham First edition

The Dolly Dialogues by Anthony Hope

The Dolly Dialogues: Arthur Rackham Captures Witty Victorian Banter

Originally appearing without illustrations in London’s Westminster Gazette from October 1893 to June 1894, Anthony Hope’s popular vignettes were collected under the title The Dolly Dialogues and published as the first volume in the Westminster Gazette Library in July 1894. For this first book appearance, a rising 23-year-old Arthur Rackham provided four delicate black and white drawings.

Don’t miss your opportunity to own this scarce publication showcasing two British creative legends.

Buy Dolly Dialogues

Original 1894 edition of Anthony Hope’s classic Victorian witty conversations The Dolly Dialogues, fully illustrated by famed fantasy artist Arthur Rackham

  • Features Rackham’s first 4 published drawings, using his own sister as model for the infamous coquettish Dolly
  • Charming vignettes capturing Rackham’s emerging style and Hope’s art of crisp dialogue
  • A delightful addition for fans of Rackham, Hope, or late 19th century British literary art with beautifully reproduced illustrations
  • Scarce early work by an artistic master perfect for collections of fantasy, Golden Age illustration, or Victorian literature


  • Yellow or red pictorial paper wrappers (111 pages); published July 1894, 1 shilling. The scarce first issue (July 1894) with “Dolly” as running headline and “price one shilling” at the extreme lower right corner; subsequent issues have “The Dolly Dialogues” as running headline and the price location shifted upward. Yellow pictorial wrappers, blue lettering and illustration. 
  • Blue cloth hardcover with brown illustration and lettering (111 pages); published August 1894, 2 shillings 6 pence
  • Tan cloth hardcover with brown illustration and lettering (111 pages); published August 1894, 2 shillings 6 pence Size: 5.5 x 7 inches

  • Text: The Dolly Dialogues by Anthony Hope

  • Illustrations: 4 full-page black and white halftone illustrations by Arthur Rackham

  • Publisher: Westminster Gazette (London)


Bound in tan buckram with red stamp of the publisher’s trade mark on the cover and red lettering on the cover and spine; gilt top. 195 numbered pages, 3½×6¼. This American edition has only one illustration, used as a frontispiece. There is also another American edition published in 1895 by George Sully, New York, and bound in tan cloth with red lettering. This edition has only-one illustration, also used as a frontispiece.

Summary: Arthur Rackham provided illustrations for the first book appearance of Anthony Hope’s popular series of witty Victorian-era conversations, The Dolly Dialogues. Originally published as vignettes in The Westminster Gazette, these entertaining exchanges between narrator and the coquettish “Dolly” came out in July 1894 as a yellow or red paper-wrapped edition with Rackham’s four crisp black and white drawings capturing the verbal fencing (pp. 32, 42, 82, 104). That August saw a cloth-bound release with the same Rackham illustrations, either in blue boards showcasing Rackham’s cover art or a variant tan binding. The cloth versions move one Rackham image to frontispiece position and enhance reproduction quality. As Rackham had not supplied illustrations for the original serialized Gazette run, this first book printing marked their inaugural appearance.

Short, dialogue-driven, and graced with Rackham’s emerging delicacy of line, The Dolly Dialogues stands as an early example of the artist’s gift for embedding visual personality into vivacious literary repartee.

Similar Posts