London: Pub.…at R. Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, 1812. Item #04534
The Three Tours of Doctor Syntax
Finely Bound by Rivière & Son
[ROWLANDSON, Thomas, illustrator]. [COMBE, William]. The Tour of Doctor Syntax, in Search of the Picturesque. A Poem. London: Pub.…at R. Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, 1812.
First edition, first issue, with p. 1 reading “Chapter I” and with the plate “Dr. Syntax, Bound to a tree by Highwaymen” (facing p. 14) in the first state, with the girl riding the donkey with her right arm straight. Octavo (9 1/16 x 5 3/4 inches; 230 x 146 mm.). iii, [1, printer’s imprint], [1, directions to the binder], [1, blank], 275, [1, blank] pp. Engraved title with hand-colored aquatint vignette and thirty hand-colored aquatint plates. Plates watermarked 1808.
[ROWLANDSON, Thomas, illustrator]. [COMBE, William]. The Second Tour of Doctor Syntax, in Search of Consolation; A Poem. Volume Second. London: Published by R. Ackermann, At the Repository of Arts, 1820.
First edition, second issue, with the plate facing p. 198 reading “Skimmington Riders.” Octavo (9 1/8 x 5 13/16 inches; 232 x 147 mm.). , [1, directions to the binder], [1, blank], 277, [1, blank] pp. Twenty-four hand-colored aquatint plates. Wood-engraved vignette on p. 51. Plates watermarked 1820.
[ROWLANDSON, Thomas, illustrator]. [COMBE, William]. The Third Tour of Doctor Syntax, in Search of a Wife, A Poem. London: Published at R. Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, .
First edition. Octavo (9 1/8 x 5 13/16 inches; 232 x 147 mm.). [1, Preface], [1, blank], [1, directions to the binder], [1, blank], 279, [1, blank] pp. Engraved title with hand-colored aquatint vignette and twenty-four hand-colored aquatint plates. Hand-colored aquatint tail-piece vignette on p. 279.
Uniformly bound ca. 1920 by Rivière & Son (stamp-signed on verso of free-endpapers) in full red crushed morocco. Covers double-ruled in gilt , spines with five raised bands, decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments, double gilt-ruled board edges, turn-ins decoratively tooled in gilt, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Stab holes visible on some plates. Short tear in the outer margin of N1 (pp. 89/90) of The Tour of Doctor Syntax. A few minor marginal stains in the first volume, some light offsetting from plates to text only. A very fine set. Housed in the original red morocco-edged, fleece-lined cloth slipcase.
William Combe (1741-1823), “prolific English writer of miscellaneous prose and satirical verse whose poem The Tour of Dr. Syntax in Search of the Picturesque (1812) was one of the most popular books of early 19th-century England…Dr. Syntax was introduced in 1809 in The Poetical Magazine. Combe’s first Dr. Syntax book and its successors, The Second Tour of Dr. Syntax in Search of Consolation (1820) and The Third Tour…in Search of a Wife (1821), satirize the many 18th- and early 19th-century writers whose ‘Tours,’ ‘Travels,’ and ‘Journeys’ were vehicles for sententious moralizing, uninspired raptures, and sentimental accounts of amorous adventures. The popularity of Combe’s work owed much to the illustrations of Thomas Rowlandson. Combe and Rowlandson also collaborated on The English Dance of Death (1815), which contains some of Combe’s best verse, and The Dance of Life (1816-17)” (Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of Literature).
Abbey, Life, 266 and 267. Tooley 427, 428, and 429.