London: Read & Co… Ackermann & Co.,, . Item #02806
A Presentation Copy
Thirteen Fine Hand-Colored Steel Engraved Plates Showing The Folk Dances of Many Lands
[DANCE]. [CONCANEN, Edward. FROST, Thomas. MASON, R.H. & LOWNDES, Mrs.]. Read's Characteristic National Dances; Including a Series of Tales by Popular Authors. London: Read & Co… Ackermann & Co., n.d. .
First edition. Presentation Copy. Quarto (10 7/8 x 8 1/4 in; 276 x 210 mm). , 101, [1, blank] pp. Thirteen hand-colored steel engraved plates heightened with gum arabic, including frontispiece and lithographed title. Plates dated Nov. 1, 1853.
Publisher's crimson morocco-grained cloth (designed by John Leighton, b. 1822 - d. 1912), recased. Paneled in gilt in an arboreal motif, the front cover pictorially gilt-stamped with a scene of dancing around a maypole, rear cover with a large arabesque lozenge. All edges gilt. Spine extremes strengthened. Neat ink presentation inscription on front free-endpaper "Mrs. W.V. Patten. / with R.H. Mason's most Kind regards. / [flourish] / Decr. 8th. 1853. / [flourish]".
R.H. Mason was the author of four of the chapters in this book: The Irish jig; The Mexican jarabe dance; The Chinese sun & moon dance, and The Turkish saraband.
"The origin of the accomplishment of dancing has never been traced; probably it is coeval with legs and feet, for there is not a nation on the face of the broad earth but what can manage to knock up a hop of some kind or another; and the inhabitants of all climes, each in a way of their own, adopt it as a recreation or introduce it in solemn ritual…" (address to the reader).
"The title vignette shows a group around a fire dancing an English folk dance, the Sir Roger de Coverley, the following plate the Highland Fling, and from there the dancing progresses across Europe to India and China figuratively speaking," H. Mandeville. The authors described the dances depicted, Mrs Lowndes specifically describing the Swiss folk dance. This work has been called an elegantly illustrated "gift book" whose intention was to suggest that national (folk) dance could express true feeling better than more "artificial" forms of dance, which seems possibly to contravene contemporary thought on theatrical dance, which was in the ascendant at this time." (Bobins III, 888).
"Realistic engravings illustrate a point in each of the twelve tales" (Niles & Leslie).
Little is known about Edward Concanen beyond that OCLC records five books authored by him, all, as here, published by Read & Co. Other contributing writers include Thomas Frost, Mrs. Lowndes (Hannah Maria Jones), and R.H. Mason.
1. Frontispiece - The May-pole dance. (T. Frost)
2. Engraved title.
3. The Highland fling. (E. Concanen)
4. The Irish jig. (R.H. Mason)
5. Minuet de la Cour. (T. Frost)
6. The Spanish fandango. (E. Concanen)
7. The Neapolitan dance. (E. Concanen)
8. The Swiss dance. (Mrs. Lowndes)
9. The Grecian dance. (E. Concanen)
10. The Mexican jarabe dance. (R.H. Mason)
11. The Chinese sun & moon dance. (R.H. Mason)
12. The Turkish saraband. (R.H. Mason)
13. The Hindostanee shawl dance. (T. Frost)
Bobins, III, 888; Magriel, p. 53; Niles & Leslie II, p. 441.