London: R. Ackermann, 1822. Item #02628
The English Gil Blas
Illustrated By Rowlandson
[ROWLANDSON, Thomas, artist]. [COMBE, William]. The History of Johnny Quae Genus. The Little Foundling of the Late Doctor Syntax: A Poem, by the Author of The Three Tours. London: R. Ackermann, 1822.
First edition. Octavo (9 7/8 x 6 in; 253 x 151 mm). , 259 [i.e. 267],  pp. Twenty-four hand-colored aquatints. Plates watermarked "J. Whatman Turkey Mill 1821." Complete with the three-line slip loosely inserted at p. 256.
Publisher's original drab boards with printed spine label, neatly rebacked with the original spine laid down. Bookplate of Fitz Eugene Dixon. Some offsetting from plates to text, still an exceptionally fine copy. Housed in a full blue morocco pull-off case by Hyman Zucker.
"The last of the genuine or 'authorized' Syntax books." (Abbey)
"In 1822 Ackermann produced The History of Johnny Quae Genus, the little Foundling of the late Fr. Syntax. The text by Combe was illustrated with twenty-four coloured aquatints by Rowlandson. The introductions gives the best clue to the nature of the contents: 'The Favor which has been bestowed on the different tours of Dr. Syntax has encouraged the writer of them to give a 'History of the Foundling,' who has been thought an interesting object in the latter of these volumes, and it is written in the same style and manner with a view to connect it with them. This child of chance, it is presumed, is led througha track of life not unsuited to the peculiarity of his conditoin and character, while its varieties, as in the former works, are represented by the pencil of Mr. Rowlandson with its characteristic felicity. The idea of an English Gil Blas predominated through the while of the volume" (Hardie).
Banker and book collector Fitz Eugene Dixon (1888-1982) was married to Eleanor Widener, a member of the wealthy Philadelphia Widener family. His grandfather, George D. Widener, and uncle, the renowned book collector Harry Elkins Widener, died in the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic. The Dixons built "Ronaele Manor" ("Eleanor" spelled backward), an Elizabethan mansion, in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.
Prideaux, p. 133, 332. Hardie p. 174. Abbey, Life, 268, Tooley, 413.