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Alfred

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Rev Dr Alfred Caldecott, DD, LlD

Randolph Caldecott's brother, Rev Dr Alfred Caldecott DD, LlD, was born on 9th Nov 1850 and died in 1941.  He was Vicar of Christ Church, Stafford; a Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge; Principal of Codrington College, Barbados; and Prebendary of St. Paul's Cathedral, London1.  By1909 he was Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy at the University of London, and had contributed to the Pan-Anglican Congress a Paper on "Christian Philosophy in contrast with Pantheism, Christian Science, and Agnosticism"2.

The Caldecott brothers Alfred and RandolphAlfred collaborated with Randolph on one book: "Aesop's Fables" (1883)  As a theologian, Alfred was very familiar with classical Greek, and so the book contained his translation of Aesop from the original Greek.  However, Randolph insisted that some Fables had become so familiar that sometimes the better-known version should prevail over the original: e.g. a fox was often substituted for the original wolf which would be an unfamiliar animal to British readers.  Randolph's cartoon of himself and his brother as co-authors appears in the book.  It is probably no accident that they never collaborated in any other book!
(In the cartoon, the 2 brothers are depicted as ostriches, with the family Coat of Arms on their sketch books.  Alfred as author has a quill pen, Randolph as illustrator has a pencil.  Why ostriches? - See the family Crest on the Coat of Arms: click here or go "Up" to the "Family" page.)

Alfred is thought to appear in some other books, e.g.:

"The Great Panjandrum Himself" (1885)
Illustration for "Old Christmas"
by Washington Irving (1875)
The Parson in Old Christmas

In "Old Christmas", Washington Irving describes the parson in unflattering detail and Randolph would have wanted to be true to the description, so we cannot assume that his brother would ever have looked like this!  Here is Irving's description:

"I had expected to see a sleek well-conditioned pastor, such as is often found in a snug living in the vicinity of a rich patron's table; but I was disappointed.  The parson was a little, meagre, black-looking man, with a grizzled wig that was too wide, and stood off from each ear; so that his head seemed to have shrunk away within it, like a dried filbert in its shell.  He wore a rusty coat, with great skirts, and pockets that would have held the church Bible and prayer-book; and his small legs seemed still smaller, from being planted in large shoes, decorated with enormous buckles."  (pp 92-93.)

Sources:
1 :  Letters in "Yours Pictorially", pp 39, 82-83, 189, 243.
2 :  Year Book of The King's School, Chester, July 1909.

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