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Feb 17, 2014 Yann rated it 3 of 5 stars · review of another edition
Ce livre est un ouvrage de propagande satirique paru en 1854, abondamment illustré par Gustave Doré, en pleine Guerre de Crimée (1853-1856). Ce conflit opposa l’Empire Russe de Nicolas Ier à une coalition formée par l’Empire Ottoman, l’Angleterre Victorienne, et l’Empire Français de Napoléon III. Il finit par une victoire de la coalition (). Il s’agissait alors d’empêcher coûte que coûte la Russie de s’emparer du détroit du Bosphore et des Dardanelles : les anglais voulaient protéger la route de ...more
The editor calls this book "more than an intriguing and amusing curiosity, it is a work of permanent fascination." Fair play. This is a satirical history of Russia (ooh, it's nasty and hateful!) done by French graphic artist Gustave Dore in the mid-19th century. Essentially, it's an early comic book. The drawings and accompanying text (in translation) are funnier (and harsher) than I'd anticipated. Definitely fascinating.
The illustrations range from sketches to fully detailed full page drawings. The storytelling is done through a few sentences per image to songs and full paragraphs. The pages are actually laid out like a modern comic, which I didn't expect. Still, more interesting as a piece of history than anything else. Maybe the satire would work better if I knew more about the era going in, although I did like how Ivan the Terrible's reign was represented as a full page ink spill.
The most popular and successful French book illustrator of the mid 19th century. Doré became very widely known for his illustrations to such books as Dante's Inferno (1861), Don Quixote (1862), and the Bible (1866), and he helped to give European currency to the illustrated book of large . He was so prolific that at one time he employed more than forty blockcutters. His work is characterized by a ...moreMore about Gustave Doré...