London [&] Paris: Rudolph Ackermann [&] Galignani & Co., 1853. Item #04356
"O, my dearest Caroline!
I am thine, you are mine; O, my dearest Caroline!"
From the Library of The Duke of Gloucester
[ALKEN, Henry, in the style of]. [ARMSTRONG, William Henry]. O'BRADLEY, Arthur, pseudonym. The Gretna-Green Bolt-a, or, Young Ladies' Man-ual. Edited by Arthur O'Bradley, Esq. London [&] Paris: Rudolph Ackermann [&] Galignani & Co., .
First and only edition. Oblong octavo (5 1/2 x 11 1/8 inches; 140 x 282 mm.). 69,  pp, printed on pink paper. Hand colored lithograph frontispiece heightened with gum arabic (on white paper) depicting the pursuit of an eloping couple. The lithograph is unsigned and with no imprint. It has been suggested that it is by the sporting artist Henry Alken (1785-1851).
Publisher's quarter diced brown calf over brown diaper-grain cloth. Copy of the hand colored lithograph frontispiece, heightened with gum arabic, affixed to front cover (same as Major Abbey's copy). A fine copy. Housed in a red cloth fold over case, lettered in gilt on front cover (by Rivière & Son). From the library of the Duke of Gloucester with his armorial bookplate on the front paste-down. Also with the bookplate of J.O. Edwards on inside of cloth case.
"A Rare Work. The frontispiece. which is executed in the manner of Henry Alken, depicts a stage coach, two riders, a footman, and two pairs of horses at top speed on their way to Gretna Green. In the distance is the pursuing coach." (Dixon, 123).
A jocular poem by 'Arthur O'Bradley', apparently the pseudonym of the soldier, poet and playwright William Henry Armstrong. The attribution of the poem itself is made fairly certain by a footnote on page 64: a poem there reprinted from Lays of Love is acknowledged as being by Captain W.H. Armstrong, who also wrote under the pseudeonym 'Caleb'.
The main part of the text is a poem titled 'O, my dearest Caroline!, the plot of which has a 'Bolter' and a 'Boltee' eloping to Gretna Green, pursued one must assume by her irate father.
A very uncommon book with just five copies located in libraries and institutions worldwide: The British Library (UK); NLS Library of Congress (DC); Yale (CT) [the Abbey copy]; The Morgan Library (NY), and the Lilly Library (IN).
HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester (1900-1974), younger brother of Edward VIII and George VI, and owner of a very fine collection of sporting books which were sold at Christie's in London. (Christie's, 27 January 2006, part of lot 685). Loosely inserted is the original Christie's lot slip.
Abbey, Life in England, 408; Dixon, 123.