London: Printed for J.J. Stockdale, 1812. Item #04413
A Political Satire Deploring Ireland's Union With England
Four Hand Colored Etchings by Thomas Rowlandson
Extra-Illustrated by the Insertion of Five Additional Plates
Including a Very Scarce Double-Page Hand Colored Etching by Rowlandson
"Comforts of an Irish Fishing Lodge" (Published May, 1812)
ROWLANDSON, Thomas, illustrator. [WOLCOT, John, aka Peter Pindar]. Petticoat Loose. A Fragmentary "Tale of the Castle." Embellished with Plates. London: Printed for J.J. Stockdale, 1812.
First edition. Quarto (10 5/8 x 8 1/4 inches; 270 x 210 mm.). 135, [1, blank] pp. Four hand-colored etchings (all with protective tissue-guards), designed and engraved by Rowlandson.
Extra-illustrated by the insertion of five hand plates of which four are hand colored including one fine double-page hand colored etching by Thomas Rowlandson 'Comforts of an Irish Fishing Lodge' (published by Hannah Humphrey) which is not mentioned in Grego. This fine illustration depicts two men sitting in a badly flooded room surrounded by ducks, dogs, pigs and rats. We can locate just one copy of this etching at Yale University Library (CT, USA).
Contemporary marbled boards, expertly rebacked to style in quarter calf. Spine with five raised bands ruled and lettered in gilt in compartments. An excellent example of this extremely scarce Rowlandson item, not mentioned in Tooley.
1. Capture of the Petticoat. (frontispiece)
2. Breakfast Room at an Inn. (facing p. 11)
3. College Green, before the Union -- A scene of state, bustle, and prosperity. (facing p. 59)
4. College Green, after the Union -- Shabbiness, poverty, and beggary have sole possession of the scene. (facing p. 62)
1. Engraved portrait of Peter Pindar Esq. (Opie/Mackenzie) pasted onto verso of title-page
2. T. Rowlandson. Comforts of an Irish Fishing Lodge Pub May 12th, 1812 by H. Humphrey No. 27 St. James's St. (double-page, hand colored - between pp. 3 & 4) Small repair to lower 1 1/4 inch of fold. This fine etching is not mentioned in Grego
3. The Late Rt. Hon.ble Chas. Spencer Perceval Chancellor of the Exchequer & c. Pubd. May 16th, 1812 by A. Beugo 38 Maiden Lane Covt. Garden (hand colored - between pp. 22/23)
4. Mrs Clarke. Hapwood/Erskine Thomas Tegg 1809. (hand colored - between pp. 120/121
5. Napoleone Buonaparte First Consul of the French Republic. Pub. Aug 28th, 1800 by J. Harris (between pp. 124/125)
When, in 1778, John Wolcot (1738-1819) a physician, came to London, he began "the writing of vigorous and witty satirical verses" (OCEL) under the pseudonym "Peter Pindar." He was blind by the year 1812. This work [Petticoat Loose] is a prose poem" (CBEL. Vol. 11, pp. 37-38).
Loosely based upon a traditional tale of the same name, "Petticoat Loose" was the nickname of Mary Hannigan, a renowned dancer and drinker of ardent spirits who once, while seriously sloshed, caught her skirt on a floor nail which ripped and dropped the skirt to the ground, hence "Petticoat Loose." Once dared to test her drinking capacity, she fell dead after completing the challenge. Here, Wolcot has spun the story into a political satire deploring Ireland's union with England.
Grego, Rowlandson II, pp, 238-239; Grolier Club, Rowlandson, p. 121; Not in Tooley.