A few comments on William Taunton’s cover-designs for Goodall . . .

From the information about William Taunton in Mike Goodall’s article about him (mentioned in an earlier post), I gather that:

1.  In 1870, Taunton began working for Goodall.

2.  In 1871, Taunton began working for Hunt.

3.  He left Hunt in late 1874, rejoined them about a year later, and then left them finally in April 1880.

That’s about the extent of my knowledge on the time periods during which Taunton worked for Goodall or Hunt.

One might assume that any covers Taunton designed for Goodall would have to have been designed during the 1870-1871 time period.

However, that does not appear to be the case, since it seems reasonably apparent that Taunton designed the covers for the Goodall booklets on Ace Major (The Game of “Ace Major”) and Napoleon (The Game of Napoleon).

The best information on The Game of “Ace Major” suggests that it was published in 1874.  (Jessel’s bibliography does not mention the booklet, but the photocopy in Mike Goodall’s possession shows 1874 — as discussed in an earlier post.)  Also, it would seem that the first edition of The Game of Napoleon was published in 1878.  That is the date of the copy listed in Jessel, and it is the date of the copy in Edward Copisarow’s collection — as discussed in an earlier post.

Put simply, Taunton was employed by Goodall in or around 1870-1871.  Yet he designed covers on Goodall booklets that were first published in 1874 and 1878.  And during 1878 he was clearly employed by Hunt!

Mike and I discussed this a bit in emails, and Mike seems to think it is unlikely that a full explanation will emerge any time soon.  He suggested that it is possible that Taunton produced freelance work for Goodall after his formal employment with Goodall had ended.

And, actually, in Mike’s year-2000 book on the Goodalls, he states a span of time beginning in 1873 for Taunton’s cover-designs for Goodall.

—Tom Sawyer

January 24, 2013

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