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Note from the Illustrator

In an effort to capture the atmosphere created by Leigh Hunt's poetry, I have made a few decisions regarding the artwork for this project. Rather than draw humorous or light-hearted illustrations, I have chosen to create images with a more thoughtful tone that reflects the seriousness of Hunt's poems. The majority of the poems in this volume are about childhood, a time normally associated with play and innocence. However, friendship is central to a child's life so the drawings reflect both companionship and contemplation. When reading Hunt's poetry, a variety of emotions presented themselves which greatly influenced the illustrations I created. Friendship, hope, and joy were a few of the themes that Hunt explored. Children were chosen as subjects for the drawings as they are best capable of recreating the emotions invoked by Hunt's work. Although written in the early nineteenth century, the poems' expressions of friendship and childhood experience are timeless.

Graphite was used for the illustrations as it is better capable of creating a loose artistic style. Childhood is full of mystery and imagination and I attempted to recreate this by drawing figures without definitive borders.

The majority of illustrations are not direct depictions of the text of the poems; instead, they were created by inspiration received while reading them. A few that relate to The Palace of Pleasure do depict scenes or characters in that work. These are meant to conjure up images of childhood storybooks and their illustrations. I hope they add to the atmosphere that Hunt was trying to create throughout his poems.

-- Karl Denny

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