Alken's First Published Work
The Comic Foibles of Amateur Horsemen
[ALKEN, Henry]. Qualified Horses and Unqualified Riders, or the reverse of Sporting Phrases taken from the Work entitled Indispensable Accomplishments... [by] Ben Tally Ho, an occasional Visitor in Leicestershire. London: S. & J. Fuller, 1st Septr, 1815.
First edition. Oblong folio (10 1/2 x 14 1/4 in; 267 x 362 mm). Engraved title and seven hand-colored engraved plates.
Contemporary straight-grained morocco over marbled boards. Occasional spotting to margins, otherwise an excellent copy of Alken's first published work. From the magnificent sporting library of C.F.G.R. Schwerdt, renowned bibliographer of hunting, hawking and shooting books with his Armorial bookplate on the front paste down. (this copy not the one cited in his work).
Though the engraved title and last plate are watermarked J. Whatman 1819, the work remains a first edition printed from the original plates dated 1 September, 1815; a second edition appeared in 1821. Though Siltzer notes an earlier edition of 1811, no other bibliographer has noted such and there are no records of an 1811 edition found in international institutional libraries, nor in auction records within the last thirty-five years. The issue under notice is found in only six libraries worldwide. This copy is bulked out with over forty blank leaves at rear.
Alken's satiric reposte to Frankland's Indispensable Accomplishments, taking the Frankland ("Billesdon Coplow") scenes and captions and turning them on their ear, specifically on the rider's behind as he's tossed hither and yon by a horse clearly more in control of things than the rider, who is finally carried off the field of comic disaster by his friends.
1. Going along a slapping pace...
2. Topping a Flight of Rails...
3. Charging an Ox-fence...with good Success.
4. Got in and getting out...very clever.
5. Facing a Brook. Verifying the old Adage, look before you leap.
6. Swishing at a Rasper...
7. Returning home in Triumph. He disdain'd a Slothful Easy Life, so took to hunting.
Schwerdt I, p. 20. Siltzer, p. 69. Tooley 44.
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