London: Printed for Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, 1821. Item #02588
Uncut in the Original Printed Boards
[CRUIKSHANK, George and Robert, illustrators]. EGAN, Pierce. Life in London or, the Day and Night scenes of Jerry Hawthorne Esq. and His Elegant Friend Corinthian Tom, accompanied by Bob Logic, the Oxonian, in their Rambles and Sprees through the Metropolis...Embellished with Thirty-six Scenes from Real Life, Designed and Etches by I.R. & G. Cruikshank; and enriched also with numerous designs on wood by the same artists. London: Printed for Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, 1821.
First edition, second issue, with footnote to p. 9. Tall octavo (9 7/8 x 6 1/4 in; 253 x 158 mm). xvi, 376, [8, catalog], [8, adv.] pp. Thirty-six hand-colored aquatint engravings including frontispiece with tissue guards, and three folding leaves of music, the first unnumbered and thus first issue per Cohn.
In the publisher's original printed boards with five woodcuts to each board and two to spine, rebacked with the original backstrip laid down. Boards a little scuffed, corners worn, otherwise a wonderful copy of a book rarely found in the original binding. With the bookplate of the renowned late nineteenth/early twentieth century collector John L. Clawson. Chemised and housed within a later full crimson morocco pull-off case.
"By finding the right men [the Cruikshanks] for his work [Egan] made Life In London one the great successes of the day, comparable to that other triumphant alliance of humour and art in the pages of Dr Syntax" (Prideaux).
"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…" (The Cambridge History of English and American Literature ).
Cohn 262. Abbey, Life 281. Prideaux p. 307, 310, 335. Tooley 196.