The Definitive Dwiggins no. 115—Ginn and Ancient Rome
In the spring of 1905 W.A. Dwiggins left The Village Press and struck out on his own as a freelance artist. Two of the first three commissions he received came from Ginn & Company. They were for book cover (binding) designs.  Over the following dozen years he designed other book covers, some endpapers, and several title pages for the Boston publisher. But it was not until the spring of 1917 that he was asked to illustrate a book for Ginn.
The title page of Clough’s translation of Plutarch’s Lives abridged and annotated by Edwin Ginn (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1918) boasted that the book was supplemented “With Historical Introductions by William Francis Allen” and “Portraits by W.A. Dwiggins”.  This was a significant update of a book that had first been published in 1886 and had not been changed since 1898. All of Ginn’s previous abridged editions of Plutarch’s Lives had been unillustrated.  For each of the seven profiles in the new edition, Dwiggins drew a portrait that was placed opposite the chapter openings. The individuals depicted were, in order, Themistocles (p. 2), Pericles (p. 45), Alexander (p. 78), Coriolanus (p. 136), Fabius (p. 198), Sertorius (p. 244), Caesar (p. 290). This was Dwiggins’ first extensive book illustration assignment since he worked on The Poetical Works of John Milton (Boston: R.H. Hinkley Company, 1908) for Daniel Berkeley Updike of The Merrymount Press.  He also designed the binding, but not the title page. 
Here are the seven portraits of Greek and Roman statesmen that Dwiggins designed for Plutarch’s Lives.
Dwiggins worked on Plutarch’s Lives from April 19 to November 20, 1917 and then again from March 9 to April 17, 1918. His most sustained periods of activity were November 1917 when he devoted eleven days to the portraits and March 1918 when he dedicated seven days. He delivered the final portrait, that of Julius Caesar, on April 1, 1918.  Those two stretches of work were interrupted by a second book project for Ginn involving illustrations for a revised version of Collar and Daniell’s First Year Latin textbook (see below).
Plutarch’s Lives was published in August 1918 as World War I continued to rage. “These days of war and struggle are a fitting time for a new edition of Plutarch’s Lives…,” wrote The American School Board Journal.  Ironically, the journal’s comments were published after the Armistice.
1. See Dwiggins’ account book entries for 24 July 1905 and 27 July 1905 in Folder 2, Box 81(1), 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library. The books were First Science Book: Physics and Chemistry by Lothrop D. Higgins (Boston: Ginn & Company, 1905) and American History in Literature by Martha Allen Luther and Mabel Hill (Boston: Ginn & Company, 1905).
2. Plutarch’s Lives is 18.02 in The Books of WAD: A Bibliography of the Books Designed by W. A. Dwiggins by Dwight Agner (Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Press of the Nightowl, 1974). The book is not mentioned in W.A. Dwiggins: A Life in Design by Bruce Kennett (San Francisco: Letterform Archive, 2018).
3. “In this new edition the text has been made more open and attractive by additional paragraphing. In several instances the wording of the original translation has been restored. The spelling of a few proper names has been altered, to make them accord with the commonly accepted forms. The notes have been revised and augmented. A complete pronouncing vocabulary of proper names has been added. The illustrations are a new feature.” Plutarch’s Lives abridged and annotated by Edwin Ginn (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1918), p. v. A survey of competing editions of Plutarch’s Lives available at Hathitrust indicates that the Ginn edition was the only one illustrated with portraits. One possible inspiration for the Ginn edition is Plutarch’s Lives of Illustrious Men translated by John and William Langhorne (London: Chatto and Windus, 1878) in two volumes “with numerous portraits”. But its portraits were not the models for Dwiggins’ portraits (see example below). What he based his portraits on is unclear as I have been unable to find a single source for more than two of his seven illustrations.
4. For The Poetical Works of John Milton Dwiggins designed the title page, fifteen full-page illustrations, borders, headpieces, and tailpieces.
5. The identity of the title page designer is unknown. There is no signature and the style of decoration and lettering does not look like the work of T.M. Cleland or Adrian Iorio, two other designers who worked for Ginn at the time.
6. According to his account book entries Dwiggins worked for a total of twenty-nine days on Plutarch’s Lives. The only portrait that is specifically mentioned is that of Julius Caesar. He designed the binding last. See Folder 2, Box 81(1), 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library. Dwiggins was paid $300 for the portraits and the binding design. See Folder 11, Box 8191), 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library. Artwork for the portrait of Sertorius survives in Folder 32, Box 41, 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library.
7. The American School Board Journal vol. 56 (November 1918), p. 71.
Collar and Daniell’s First Year Latin
In late November 1917 Dwiggins abruptly stopped work on Plutarch’s Lives.  Several weeks later he was furiously drawing a slew of illustrations for a new edition of Collar and Daniell’s First Year Latin textbook revised by Thornton Jenkins.  This was another Ginn & Company assignment and the publisher must have placed a higher priority on its completion than that of the Plutarch.
Ginn first published The First Latin Book by William C. Collar and M. Grant Daniell in 1896. By 1917 it had become the most widely used introductory Latin textbook in American high schools and colleges. But other Latin grammars were apparently beginning to challenge it. In the April 1917 issue of The School Review, Franklin W. Johnson wrote, “Practically every author has slavishly followed the outlines of the Collar and Daniell Beginner’s Latin Book, though in late years there has been a marked attempt to wander away even from some of the chief merits of that work.”  In the wake of such comments Ginn must have felt it was time to do more than just revise the text of Collar and Daniell’s as they had done periodically, but to refresh the book in the same manner as Plutarch’s Lives was being updated. 
From its inception Collar and Daniell’s had been filled with numerous spot illustrations and some full page photographs. The former were generic line engravings in imitation of the wood engravings that had dominated much 19th century publishing. With each new edition the illustrations had been changed, but they remained old-fashioned in style. The revised text by Thornton Jenkins provided an opportunity to thoroughly overhaul the illustrations.
The new Jenkins edition of Collar and Daniell’s included four full-page color illustrations by Arthur E. Becher (1877–1960), six line drawings and the title page by Thomas Maitland Cleland (1880–1964), seventeen line drawings by Dwiggins, and seventeen line drawings and three maps by Adrian J. Iorio (b. 1879).  Most of the drawings were new and not simply revisions of previous illustrations. 
In his preface Jenkins emphasized the role of the new illustrations and complimented the illustrators:
It is hoped that teachers will find the numerous illustrations a help to them in familiarizing pupils with the life of the Romans. The four plates in colors were made especially for this book by Mr. Arthur E. Becher after a careful study of all the phases of Roman life that they represent. As for the other pictures, half tones have been used where the subject could be made more realistic if reproduced directly from a photograph. In cases where line engravings seemed more suitable, drawings in the style of the early Italian engravings were made for the purpose by Mr. Thomas M. Cleland, Mr. W.A. Dwiggins, and Mr. Adrian J. Iorio. As a whole the illustrations are believed to be of a quality unexcelled in schoolbooks. 
Of the four artists, Becher was clearly the most important. His full-color illustrations distinguished the Jenkins edition both from its predecessors and from rival Latin grammars. A reviewer in The Classical Weekly noted this feature of the book:
A noteworthy feature of the book is the excellence of its illustrations, which are unique even in this day of finely-illustrated textbooks. In particular, unstinted praise should be given for the painstaking detail with which four scenes from the experience of a Roman youth are reproduced with delightful color effects. Unquestionably, the reaction of such pictures upon the pupil is invaluable for developing a sense of familiarity with the every day life of the ancient world. A detailed index which gave the sources of these illustrations would be useful. 
The contributions of Cleland, Dwiggins, and Iorio were not only overlooked by this reviewer, but it is likely that most students were unaware of how much of an improvement they were over the generic illustrations of the older editions of Collar and Daniell. Only a few of them exhibited much personality, most notably Cleland’s romantic depiction of Icarus falling to earth (see below after note no. 12). In fact, the general anodyne quality of the illustrations may have been intentional, both a way to blend together the work of three different artists, and to evoke “early Italian engravings”.  Below are two examples, one by Iorio and one by Cleland, of illustrations with a trace of personality.
Why did Ginn hire three illustrators to work on the revised edition of Collar and Daniell’s book?  Presumably, the publisher was in a hurry to get the book done and felt that any differences in style among the illustrators would be negligible. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to explain how the illustrations were allocated among the artists. They are neither grouped by pages nor by subject matter. Perhaps the artists pulled topics from a hat. 
All three artists were well-known to Ginn. As indicated earlier, Dwiggins had been designing book covers and title pages for the publisher since 1905. Iorio had designed catalogues and illustrated books other for them since at least 1911. And Cleland was in the midst of illustrating Junior High School Mathematics for the company, a major undertaking. 
Here are Dwiggins’ seventeen illustrations (excerpted from the pages) in the order they appear in the book.
Dwiggins completed the seventeen illustrations in fifty days, working at a feverish pace between January 6 and February 25, 1918. The narrative scenes “Hostes Contra Romanos Oppidum Defendunt,” “Gladiators Entering the Arena,” “A Scene in a Roman Street,” “Milites Castra Muniunt,” and “A Restoration of the Roman Forum;” and the architectural “Interior of a Roman House” took him three to four days to complete. The other, less complex illustrations were done in a day. On some days, such as January 6, 1918, he worked on several illustrations at once.  At the same time Dwiggins was continuing to do assignments for Brad Stephens, Daniel Berkeley Updike, and Louis Crosscup (1873–1931). 
Dwiggins’ ledger entries for the First Year Latin book begin over a week before he started drawing any of the illustrations. During that time it is likely he was discussing with Ginn the extent of the assignment (i.e. choosing the subjects he was going to illustrate) and doing research on each subject. 
Although Dwiggins was constricted in his expressivity, the illustrations for both Plutarch’s Lives and Collar and Daniell’s First Year Latin afforded him a welcome break from his usual fare of advertising work. They allowed him more free rein than the did the numerous drawings of chairs, tables, bureaus, and rugs he had been churning out for the Paine Furniture Co. since 1911. They also provided him with a respite from the difficulties he was encountering at the time as the acting director of the Harvard University Press. 
8. Between the day he stopped work on Plutarch’s Lives and the day he began work on Collar and Daniell’s First Year Latin, Dwiggins devoted his time—thirty-seven days—almost equally to his job as acting director of the Harvard University Press, a WestvacoPaper Co. assignment for Brad Stephens and The Heintzemann Press, and Christmas season designs for his longtime client Paine Furniture.
9. Collar and Daniell’s First Year Latin revised by Thornton Jenkins (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1918). The book is not included in The Books of WAD: A Bibliography of the Books Designed by W. A. Dwiggins by Dwight Agner (Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Press of the Nightowl, 1974). One illustration from it is shown in W.A. Dwiggins: A Life in Design by Bruce Kennett (San Francisco: Letterform Archive, 2018), p. 141 but the book is not discussed in the text. Kennett incorrectly states that Dwiggins “provided dozens of line drawings”. The exact number was sixteen (fourteen signed and two unsigned), but perhaps Kennett assumed that many of the other unsigned illustrations were his work as well. Dwiggins must have welcomed the chance to illustrate Collar and Daniell’s since an earlier edition of it had been part of his high school education.
10. “Current Educational Writings” by Franklin W. Johnson in The School Review vol. XXV, no. 4 (April 1917), p. 377.
11. Thornton Jenkins’ revisions included making the vocabulary briefer “and more Caesarian,” increasing attention to derivatives, expanding the number of Latin/English comparisons, and adding pronunciation markings.
12. Becher’s illustrations are “A Roman Citizen Speaks” (frontispiece), “Within a Roman House” (p. 45), “A Glimpse into a Roman Theater” (p. 136), and “With the Romans at the front” (after p. 208). Cleland’s illustrations (all signed C) are the title page, “Roman Writing Materials” (p. 39), “Scuta” (p. 65), “Icarus in Oceanum Decidet” (p. 73), “Navis” (p. 87), “Milites Romani” (p. 98), and “In Britanniam Caesar Navigat” (p. 99). Also, Cleland probably designed the binding, based on the style of lettering. Dwiggins’ illustrations (fourteen signed WAD and three unsigned) are “A Scene in a Roman Street” (p. 27), “Templum” (p. 47), “A Restoration of the Roman Forum” (p. 51), “Mars” (p. 67), “Gladiators Entering the Arena” (p. 69), “Eques Romanus” (p. 83), “Horatius Pontem Defendit” (p. 85), “Soldiers Marching” (p. 91), “Aestate Agricola in Agris Laborat” (p. 93), “A Gallic Chieftain” (p. 95), “Hostes Contra Romanos Oppidum Defendunt” (p. 105), “Castra Romana” (p. 107), “Milites Castra Muniunt” (p. 121), “Gallic Sword” (p. 129), “Interior of a Roman House” (p. 161), “Galli Capti in Castra Reducuntur” (p. 172), and “Carri” (p. 205). Iorio’s contributions (all unsigned) are spears and bow-and-arrow crossed with a wreath (p. 17), “Map Showing the Roman Empire at its greatest extent” (p. 18), “Tuba” (p. 25), “A Roman Coin” (p. 33), “A Wall Drawing” (p. 37), “Pilum” (p. 43), “Pueri Puellaeque” (p. 45), altar and wreaths (p. 49), “Gladius” (p. 53), “Centurio” (p. 79), “Mater cum Pueris” (p. 103), “Plan of a Roman House” (p. 117), “Roman shoes” (p. 119), “The Atrium of a Roman House” (p. 141), “Roman Helmets” (p. 142), “Map of Helvetia” (p. 169), “Roman Styles of Hair Dressing” (p. 174), “A Country Villa” (p. 177), “Dining Couches” (p. 185), and “The Campaign against the Helvetians” (p. 200). There are also twenty-three photographs in the book, including ones of the Arch of Titus, a street in Pompeii, an aqueduct, and busts of Julius Caesar and Scipio. Credit for the decorative frames for each lesson title is unknown. Dwiggins lists some unspecified work for the book in his ledgers so they may be his.
13. Among the few illustrations that were repeated was The Fall of Icarus. The two versions are instructive in showing the improved quality of the 1918 edition of Collar and Daniell’s First Year Latin over previous ones. Not only is Cleland’s drawing richer in detail, but he rethought the episode and, in doing so, gave the scene more emotion.
14. Collar and Daniell’s First Year Latin revised by Thornton Jenkins (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1918), p. vi.
15. See The Classical Weekly vol. XXII, no. 18 (March 10, 1919), p. 143. It should be noted that Becher’s four illustrations do not reflect the experiences of a Roman youth. The Inland Printer also commended the book for “its high standard of illustrations” which it considered to be unique. It mentioned Becher, but not the other three artists. See The Inland Printer vol. LXI, no. 4 (July 1918), p. 514.
16. “Early intaglio Italian engravings” referred to quattrocento engravings “made prior to the crystallization of Italian technique by the prolific Marcantonio Raimondi,” according to Paul J. Sachs, curator at The Fogg Art Museum. See A Loan Exhibition of Early Italian Engravings (Intaglio) by The Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1915), p. 9. Although most of the engravings were religious in nature rather than classical, this catalogue may have served as inspiration to Cleland, Dwiggins, and Iorio in terms of style.
17. This was not the first time that Dwiggins and Iorio had worked on the same book for Ginn. They both contributed to The Essentials of Agriculture by Henry Jackson Waters (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1915). Dwiggins designed the frontispiece and title page vignette and Iorio rendered vignettes for each of the thirty-seven chapter openings. In that book Iorio signed his work with his customary overlapping AI monogram. Why he didn’t do the same for Collar and Daniell’s First Year Latin is a mystery.
18. I have been unable to discover most of the sources the three artists used as inspiration for their illustrations. They were not updating existing illustrations from prior editions of Collar and Daniell’s. Instead they seem to have scoured a variety of Latin grammars and books on Ancient Rome for material, probably supplied by either Thornton Jenkins or the editor at Ginn & Company. Those few that I have identified for Dwiggins are noted in the captions to the relevant illustrations. Several of Iorio’s illustrations seem to be based on images in The Private Life of the Romans by Harold Whetstone Johnston (Chicago: Scott, Foresman and Company, 1905).
19. “The authors take great pleasure in being able to include in this work a number of decorative illustrations of early mathematical instruments and their uses, by Mr. T. M. Cleland. They feel sure that teachers and students will welcome this innovation in the preparation of textbooks in mathematics, and will appreciate such a combination of the work of the artist with that of the mathematician,” wrote Wentworth, Smith, and Brown. For the three volumes of Junior High School Mathematics by George Wentworth, David Eugene Smith, and Joseph Clifton Brown (Boston: Ginn & Company, 1917–1918) Cleland created nineteen full-page illustrations and one half-page illustration. The amount of work involved in that project undoubtedly limited his contribution to Collar and Daniell’s First Year Latin book.
20. See the entries from 6 January 1918 to 25 February 1918 in Folder 4, Box 81(1), 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library. He was paid $445 total for all of the illustrations: $40 for nine of them (e.g. “Hostes Contra Romanos Oppidum Defendunt”); $15 for “Horatius Pontem Defendit” and “Carri;” $10 for five illustrations (e.g. “A Gallic Chieftain”); and $5 for the unsigned “Gallic Sword”. See Folder 11, Box 81(1), 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library.
21. Both Stephens and Updike were longtime clients. Crosscup, owner of Louis E. Crosscup & Co., a Boston printing firm, was a new client who provided Dwiggins with steady work for about a year.
22. See the entries for 27–31 December 1917 and 1–5 January 1918 in Folder 4, Box 81(1), 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library.
22. Dwiggins’ next opportunity to do a series of illustrations came in 1922 with The Pageant of Color campaign for the Hampshire Paper Co. That assignment allowed him to finally indulge his range of illustrative skills commercially. For a description of Dwiggins’ tenure as acting director of the Harvard University Press see Harvard University Press: A History by Max Hall (Cambridge, Massachusetts and London: Harvard UniversityPress, 1986), p. 37.