Analysis of the Hunting Field, The; Being a Series of Sketches of the Principal Characters That COmpose one. The Whole Forming a Slight Souvenir of the Season 1845-6/ With Numerous Illustrations, by H. Alken

First Edition, First Issue, Early Plates

[ALKEN, Henry, illustrator]. [SURTEES, Robert Smith]. The Analysis of the Hunting Field, Being a Series of Sketches of the Principal Characters That Compose One. The Whole Forming a Slight Souvenir of the Season 1845-6. With Numerous Illustrations, by H. Alken. London: Published by Rudolph Ackermann, 1846.

First edition, first issue with title and preface dated 1846, and with the earliest state of plates 4 & 5 (dated Nov. 9th).

Large octavo (9 3/4 x6 inches; 247 x 152 mm). [8], 326, [4, publisher's catalogue] pp. Seven hand-colored aquatint plates by J. Harris after H. Alken, including frontispiece and extra title, forty-three woodcuts.

Publisher's green ribbed cloth, covers decoratively bordered in blind, front cover pictorially stamped in gilt, rear cover similarly stamped in blind, spine decoratively stamped in gilt, yellow coated endpapers, all edges gilt. Some light, mainly marginal spotting throughout, light marginal stain to top of pp. 1-36, neat repair to top of front free-endpaper, spine very slightly sunned, but still an excellent copy. With the bookplate of Maxine and Joel Spitz on front paste-down. Housed in an early twentieth century, fleece-lined quarter brown morocco clamshell case.

Provenance: purchased from Robinson, London, 1 March 1936.

"This work first appeared in Bell's Life and the first edition in book form... at 31s. 6d... There are two issues. First issue in green cloth with both titles and the preface dated 1846. Second issue in red cloth, with the preface dated occasionally 1846 but usually 1847... There are early states of some of the plates with imprint dated Nov. 9th not Nov. 19th" (Tooley).

The Plates:

1. Frontispiece - The Meet.
2. Engraved title.
3. Getting Away.
4. Full Cry.
5. The Check.
6. The Leap.
7. Whoo-hoo-o-o-p.

Robert Smith Surtees (1805-1864) was an English editor, novelist and sporting writer. Thackeray envied him his powers of observation, while William Morris considered him 'a master of life' and ranked him with Dickens. In The Analysis of the Hunting Field, Surtees offers wry, fatherly advice in this satiric romp through the key archetypes of the fox hunt. As Lord Denham says in his introduction, "this should be required reading for anyone connected with hunting. From the right sort of Master to the wrong sort, from the hunting nobleman to the whip and from the blacksmith to the braggart with horses to sell we find the people 'pon the ‘orses are much the same as today."

“More people are flattered into virtue than were ever bullied out of vice” (Surtees, Analysis of the Hunting Field).

Tooley 470; Siltzer, p. 73; Podeschi 177; Schwerdt II p.232. Item #03355

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