London: Effingham Wilson… and Thomas Hurst, 1833. Item #04855
With Fourteen Woodcuts by Cruikshank
CRUIKSHANK, George. [WIGHT, John]. Sunday in London. Illustrated in Fourteen Cuts, by George Cruikshank, and a few words by a friend of his; with a copy of Sir Andrew Agnew's Bill. London: Effingham Wilson… and Thomas Hurst, 1833.
First edition. Octavo (7 3/8 x 4 7/16 inches; 188 x 112 mm.). iv, 105, [1, imprint] pp. Eleven full-page woodcuts (including frontispiece) and three vignettes (one on p. 35 repeated on title-page) by George Cruikshank.
Bound by Bayntun ca. 1925 in three-quarter red morocco over red cloth boards, ruled in gilt. Spine with five raised bands decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments. Marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. A near fine copy.
Cohn quotes an inscription in Cruikshank’s own copy as reading, “This work is my own original idea; my dear friend [John] Wight (the author of ‘Mornings at Bow Street’) wrote the text from my suggestion—George Cruikshank, 1874.”
"Sunday in London begins, as indeed it does in most other places within our topographical knowledge -- as soon as Saturday night is ended; that is to say, at twelve o'clock…" (opening page)
"To those worthy persons who think the English Sabbath is not exactly what it ought to be." (Advertisement).
George Cruikshank published these engravings in 1833 as a protest against a Sabbatarian bill “in order to promote the better observance of the Lord’s day” which called for restrictions upon secular public activity. Yet the persistence of bars, clubs and markets opening on Sunday bears witness to the enduring and unassailable commitment of Londoners to make the most of their precious weekends.