"Real Life in London" in an Onlaid Morocco Binding by Bayntun of Bath
[EGAN, Pierce, imitation of]. Real Life in London; or, The Rambles and Adventures of Bob Tallyho, Esq. and His Cousin, the Hon. Tom Dashall, through the Metropolis; Exhibiting a Living Picture of Fashionable Characters, Manners, and Amusements in High and Low Life. By an Amateur. Embellished and Illustrated with a Series of Coloured Prints, Designed and Engraved by Messrs. Alken, Dighton, Brooke, Rowlandson, &c. London: Printed for Jones & Co., 1821.
First edition, first issue, with the printed title dated 1821, with "Oxford Arms Passage" in the imprint, and with the imprint of B. Bensley on the verso. The plate opposite p. 24 is first issue, the plate opposite p. 108 is third issue, the plate opposite p. 300 is first issue, and the plate opposite p. 596 is first issue. Volume I (of two) only. Octavo (8 7/8 x 5 5/8 inches; 226 x 143 mm.). x, -656 pp. Hand-colored engraved vignette title and eighteen hand-colored engraved plates (including frontispiece).
Early to mid twentieth-century full red crushed morocco by Bayntun of Bath (stamp-signed in gilt on the front turn-in). Covers decoratively bordered in gilt, front cover with an onlaid figure of a London "character" executed in white, brown, black, green, and dark red morocco, spine decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments, gilt board edges and turn-ins, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Two plates (facing pp. 24 and 601) cut and mounted, slight crease to pp. 647/648. An excellent example of an early twentieth-century onlaid binding. Housed in a felt-lined red cloth slipcase.
An imitation of Pierce Egan's Life in London; or, The Day and Night Scenes of Jerry Hawthorn, Esq. and his elegant friend Corinthian Tom, accompanied by Bob Logic, The Oxonian, in their Rambles and Sprees through the Metropolis, "a work which was issued in and after July, 1821, in shilling numbers…A journalist, and a well-known character in his day, [Pierce Egan] wrote nothing so popular as this Life in London. Indeed, the taste for it amounted to a craze. For his illustrations, Egan went to two brothers, Isaac Robert and George Cruikshank…the success of the work was so great that the artists could not colour the engravings fast enough for the demand. It suited the taste of the time, when a ‘fast' life had become a sophisticated and conscious aim. Life in London is a guide to a fast life.…Part of the success enjoyed by [Pierce Egan's Life in London] was due, no doubt, to its readers' belief that they could name the originals of the fictitious characters. Imitations came swift and frequent…Out of the sixty-five imitations of it which Egan stated that he had reckoned, the most important was Real Life in London, or, the Rambles and Adventures of Bob Tallyho, Esq. and his cousin, the Hon. Tom Dashall, through the Metropolis; exhibiting a living picture of fashionable characters, manners, and amusements in high and low life, which was published in sixpenny numbers in 1821, with excellent illustrations by Heath, Alken, Dighton, Rowlandson and others. Real Life in London is a pleasanter book than its prototype. Some have held that Egan wrote it; but the author had a purer style, a cleaner mind and a wider knowledge of London than Egan. The book shows many more sides of London life than his; though the formal descriptions of wellknown scenes or buildings, here and there inserted amid matter of a very different character, recall very forcibly Mr. Bouncer's letters to his aunt in Verdant Green" (The Cambridge History of English and American Literature at http://www.bartleby.com/224/0609.html).
Price: Sold !
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