London: J. Robins and Co., 1824. Item #03494
Scarce With the Illustrations In Two States
Complete with all of the Advertisements
CRUIKSHANK, George. [WHITTY, Michael James, text]. Tales of Irish Life. Illustrative of the Manners, Customs,and Condition of the People. With Designs by George Cruikshank. London: J. Robins and Co., 1824.
First edition, complete with all of the advertisements.
Two octavo volumes (6 3/4 x 4 3/16 inches; 171 x 106 mm.). , iv, 242, [2, adv. (in the press)], [2, adv.]; , 249, [1, blank], [2, adv.] pp. Six full-page woodcuts (three to each volume) each in two states: hand-colored and uncolored; a total of twelve plates.
Bound ca. 1910 by Wood of London (stamp-signed on front turn-in) in full polished tan calf, covers with triple-gilt rules, spines with five raised bands, decoratively tooled in gilt in compartments, olive green labels lettered in gilt, gilt board-edges and turn-ins, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, others uncut. Heads of spines expertly repaired. A very fine and tall copy - only the second that we have ever seen with the plates in two states. Housed in an early red cloth slip-case.
"The woodcuts are sometimes found in coloured state" (Cohn).
"...J. Robins, as successor to [Cruikshank publishers] Hone and Baldwin published many of Cruikshank's most important plates... In the same issue [of the Dublin and London Magazine] the plates for Tales of Irish Life were judged... 'superior to any thing that celebrated artist has ever yet done.'
Michael James Whitty (1795 - 1873), newspaper editor and proprietor, native of Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, commenced his literary career in London, and among his earliest friends were Sir James Bacon and George Cruikshank. He was appointed editor of the London and Dublin Magazine in 1823. From 1823 to 1829 he contributed largely to Irish periodical literature, and was an ardent advocate of Catholic emancipation. He published anonymously in 1824 two volumes of Tales of Irish Life stories (which) depict the customs and condition of the people of his homeland, and were a great success, being reprinted in America and also translated into French and German. (Loeber W69)