Cutter, The; in Five Lectures in Five Lectures upon the Art and Practice of Cutting Friends, Acquaintances, and Relations.

"It Must be Intentional, or it Degenerates into Accidental Inadvertence..."
With Six Fine Folding Hand Colored Aquatint Plates by J.A. Atkinson

[ATKINSON, J.A., illustrator]. [EVANS, Arthur Benoni]. The Cutter, in Five Lectures in Five Lectures upon the Art and Practice of Cutting Friends, Acquaintances, and Relations. London: J. Carpenter, 1808.

First edition. Small octavo (7 x 4 1/8 inches; 177 x 105 mm.). [iv], 104 pp. Six folding hand-colored aquatints, drawn & etched by J. A. Atkinson.

Slightly later green cloth over original drab boards, later? printed spine label, corners neatly strengthened. Front blank endpaper removed. A very good copy. Housed in a quarter green morocco clamshell case.

The text is most interesting and is designed to assist the complete 'finished gentleman' in the art of cutting-up one's acquaintances: "an intentional slighting or overlooking on anyone connected with us, either by acquaintance, friendship or relation. It must be intentional, or it degenerates into accidental inadvertence... Nor is it only the overlooking of our connexions, that constitutes a "cut." To notice, and designedly to slight them, is equally "cutting."

The five lectures instruct in cutting up reviewers, acquaintances, friends and relations; the final lecture consists of appropriate cuts, verbal and otherwise, for the ladies in the presence of attentive men, and envious women.

John Augustus Atkinson (1775-1831) was born in London. In 1784, he went to St. Petersburg to his uncle James Walker, engraver to the empress Catherine the Great . There he studied in the picture galleries, encouraged by Catherine and her son Paul I and was commissioned by Paul to paint large pictures of Russian history. In 1801, Atkinson returned to England, and in 1803 published A Picturesque Representation of the Manners, Customs, and Amusements of the Russians, in 100 plates, drawn and etched by himself. He also painted in watercolors and in 1808 was elected to the Society of Painters in Water Colors. Many of his works, during the Napoleonic wars, were of naval subjects. He painted many battle scenes including a Battle of Waterloo, which was engraved by John Burnet. His last contribution to the Royal Academy exhibition was in 1829.

Arthur Benoni Evans (1781-1854), a miscellaneous writer, was knowledgeable in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French, Italian, Spanish, and Icelandic, and was a competent artist.

Abbey, Life in England, 295; Not in Tooley. Item #03493

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