London: George Routledge, 1846. Item #04737
Ninety-Two Humorous Plates
SEYMOUR, Robert, illustrator. PEAKE, Richard Brinsley. Seymour's Humorous Sketches. Comprising Ninety-Two Caricature Etchings Illustrated in Prose, by R.B. Peake. London: George Routledge, 1846.
First edition, thus. Octavo (9 3/8 x 5 5/8 inches; 239 x 143 mm.). [viii], 104 pp. Ninety-two fine engraved plates with original tissue-guards, including frontispieces and pictorial titles.
Bound by Root & & Son ca. 1910. Three-quarter green morocco ruled in gilt over green cloth boards. Spine with five raised bands, decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments, pale green marbled endpapers, all edges gilt.
Spine very slightly faded, otherwise near fine.
This work was first published from 1832-34 and contained eighty-six plates.
Robert Seymour (1798-1836) was a popular and prolific illustrator and satirical cartoonist specializing in sporting subjects. "Influenced by the work of caricaturist George Cruikshank (1792-1878), Seymour gave up a career as a draftsman to devote himself to illustration, beginning under the pseudonym ‘Short Shanks.’ By 1830, his political caricatures were widely circulated through the satirical journals Figaro in London and The Looking-Glass, or McLean’s Monthly. Highly strung and extremely sensitive about his status as an artist, Seymour was emotionally and mentally unstable, having suffered a nervous breakdown in 1830. "Despite the enormous output of Seymour, very little of his work was colored, his illustrations being mostly woodcuts or etchings. It will be remembered that Seymour originated the idea of a series of Cockney sporting sketches to be published in monthly parts. The idea was taken up by Chapman and Hall, who engaged Dickens to write the letterpress. From this grew the famous Pickwick Papers” (Abbey, Life, 320, describing New Readings of Old Authors).