London: S. & J. Fuller, 1815. Item #01691
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, watermarked J. Whatman 1815. Oblong folio (10 3/4 x 14 1/2 in; 270 x 362 mm). Engraved title and seven hand-colored engraved plates. uncut.
Late nineteenth century crushed crimson morocco over marbled boards ruled in gilt. Spine with four raised bands, decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt. Original printed gray wrappers bound-in. Occasional light smudges to margins, damp-stain to lower right corner of last plate, not affecting image, otherwise an excellent copy of Alken's first published work.
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.
Alken's first hunting satire, showing how the untrained rider endangers himself, his hors and others around him. The work is an ironic sequel 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.
The first of Alken's color plate books. "A humorous set depicting hunting accidents drawn in vigorous style." (Schwerdt).
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.