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To mark the occasion of Queen Elizabeth becoming the UK’s longest reigning monarch, Illustrated London News Ltd has published this beautiful, limited edition two book set, exploring the lives of Elizabeth II and Victoria, documenting Britain’s evolution under their reigns, from Empire to Commonwealth, steam trains to space travel.
VOLUME 1: The Record Number of a Record Reign
In 1897, Illustrated London News paid tribute to Victoria’s era-defining monarchy with The Record Number of a Record Reign. This commemorative publication honoured Queen Victoria’s reign and the grand accomplishments of Victorian Britain.
Regarded as the Illustrated London News’ most lavish publication, no expense has been spared in meticulously reproducing this extraordinary historic record.
- A sumptuous facsimile reproduction of ILN’s 1897 tribute to Victoria
- Twelve rich colour plates depicting important developments of the Victorian era
- Intricate Victorian pattern engraving with gold and silver ink
- Fascinating Victorian advertising preserved for deep historical perspective
- Original Victorian commentary describing the Queen’s working and domestic life, and Britain’s evolution throughout the Victorian era
- More than 200 miniature portraits of leading Victorians, such as
Dr Livingston, Florence Nightingale and Charles Darwin
- A rare portrait of Queen Victoria from 1897 by renowned ILN staff artist, Amédée Forestier
VOLUME 2: The Record Reign of Her Majesty The Queen
This new volume celebrates Queen Elizabeth’s extraordinary time on the throne. With thoughtful editorial and unseen archival images, it reflects on the evolution of Britain and the monarchy since 1952.
This beautiful record of Queen Elizabeth’s reign is produced to the same impeccable standards as The Record Number of a Record Reign
- A tribute to Britain’s new longest-reigning monarch
- An Elizabethan remake of the original Victorian Record Reign book
- Foreword by the Prime Minister David Cameron with contributions and insight from leading figures in the arts, business and politics
- A specially commissioned record reign portrait of Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen’s record reign documented in exclusive images from the Illustrated London News archives
- New and authoritative editorial by historians and cultural specialists, with an introduction by royal correspondent Robert Hardman
- Beautiful gold ink ornamental patterning and typography
The book set is presented together in an exquisitely crafted slipcase measuring H410mm x W310mm x D40mm
The Record Reign book set was formally presented to Her Majesty The Queen on 9 September 2015, the day she became Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.
About the reproduction process
In 1897, printing methods were very different from what they are today. The original Record Number of a Record Reign book was produced using at least two different printing methods (letter press & chromolithography) and more than the standard 4 colour inks used today. The vibrancy of its printed pages is apparent for all to see, though replicating them using today’s printing methods required painstaking retouching. A bespoke CMYK printing curve with a wider colour gamut than standard CMYK was used. Further to avoid the use of coating, which undermines colour vibrancy, hard drying inks were employed. In some cases we have also printed a 5th colour to give some of the images an extra lift.
Sourcing the correct paper to print the books on has also been a challenge. The original book was printed on a heavy matt board, which has a slight coating providing colour lift for the printing process. The selected premium paper is 250gsm Phoenix Motion Xantur (QV) & Xenon (QEII) supplied by GF Smith who have been supplying specialist art and craft paper to the creative industries for 130 years.