London: Tilt and Bogue, 1842. Item #04316
George Cruikshank's Omnibus
First Edition, Finely Bound by Birdsall of Northampton
[CRUIKSHANK, George]. George Cruikshank's Omnibus. Illustrated with one hundred engravings on steel and wood. Edited by Laman Blanchard. London: Tilt and Bogue, 1842.
First edition. Large octavo (9 3/8 x 5 3/4 inches; 238 x 146 mm.). [viii], 300 pp. Engraved portrait, engraved pictorial preface, twenty engraved plates and seventy-eight woodcuts in the text.
Bound ca. 1910 by Birdsall of Northampton (stamp-signed in gilt on front turn-in). Full dark green morocco, covers with multiple gilt borders and corner decorations, spine with five raised bands decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments, gilt board edges and decorative gilt turn-ins, marbled end-papers, top edge gilt, others uncut. Original gilt decorated dark green cloth front cover and spine bound in at end. Minimal fading to spine otherwise fine.
"First issued in nine monthly parts from May 1841 to January 1842. The bound volumes were first issued in green and subsequently red cloth… Of the 22 engravings on steel and the 78 woodcuts, all are by G.C. with the exception of three of the steel engravings…" (Cohn).
Cruikshank became increasingly disenchanted with the publisher Bentley while working with William Harrison Ainsworth illustrating his novels. Despite financial woes and the illness of his wife, Cruikshank separated from Bentley and became attached to secondary publishers like Tilt and Bogue. In May, 1841, he started Omnibus as his personal outlet. Laman Blanchard was the editor and Ainsworth the sub-editor. Other authors include Merle, Marryat, Thackeray and "Bowman Tiller." It had the characteristic comic cover of the rear of a crowded omnibus pulling away. George drew the image and it was engraved by his nephew Percy Cruikshank, although George was angry with him for calling himself "Cruikshank the Younger. "The contents are articles in a comic vein including a serialized novel and the miscellany entitled "Omnibus Chat."