JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
Character Sketches or the Blackboard Mirror, a Series of Illustrated Discussions, Depicting Those Peculiarities of Character...Subjects Illustrated With Over Fifty Engravings, by George Augustus Lofton (1839-1914), is a peculiar but not necessarily transcendental religico-social-morality screed in the vein of more antiquarian emblem books. The major attraction to the work were the very unusual, half-edgy, unschooled illustrations for the morals investigations made by the author--which do approach a sort of transcendental nature, all on their own. The text I'm afraid pulls the drawings down some, as I'd rather work the stuff out with just the image and a title, the descriptions becoming very quickly a preachy jaundice of judgment more so than insightful observation--though the descriptions of the images do have their moments from time to time.
I think the drawings by Lofton are remarkable for their (probably unschooled) expansively unusual possibilities, all of which are very outre for the close of the 19th century. The human figures are certainly very stylized, but the background and foreground bits are generally very oddly aggressive, and off-putting.