London: Printed by J. Smeeton, 1802. Item #05069
M'Cringer's Treatise on Modern Education
With Eight Superb Hand Colored Plates Etched by Thomas Rowlandson
ROWLANDSON, Thomas. M'CRINGER, Joel [aka J[ames]B[rydges]. WILLYAMS. A Compendious Treatise on Modern Education, in which the following interesting subjects are liberally discussed: The Nursery, Private Schools, Public Schools, Universities, Gallantry, Duelling, Gaming, Suicide. By the late Joel M'Cringer, D.D. F.R.S. A.S.S. Rector of the United Parishes of Pigworth, Goosebridge, and Honeytown, in Middlesex ; Vicar of Cornsteadcum-Haybury, in the same county ; Prebendary of St. Glebemore ; Whitehall preacher, and domestic chaplain to the Right Honourable Lord Trainwell; to which also are added, coloured designs both characteristic and illustrative, delineated by J.B. W******* Esq. and etched by Thomas Rowlandson. London: Printed by J. Smeeton, 1802.
First edition. Oblong folio (10 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches; 267 x 343 mm.). [ii, title, verso blank], [i]-viii, -34. Eight superb hand-colored etched plates, all with etched borders and titles. Text a little browned. Title-page expertly strengthened on inner margin. Small neat repair to inner margin of pp. v/vi with no loss of text; 2 1/4 inch tear to lower blank margin of pp. 17/18 expertly repaired and not affecting text. Three words on p. 28 crossed-out in black ink. Plates and text watermarked 1801. An excellent example of a very rare book, the hand colored plates generally fresh and clean.
Contemporary diced calf, covers ruled in gilt and blind, expertly rebacked to style with smooth spine decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt, corners expertly repaired.
OCLC locate just five copies in libraries and institutions worldwide: Yale University Library (CT, US), Harvard University (MA, US), Princeton University (NJ, US), Southwestern University (TX, US), and the Bobins Collection (IL, USA).
"An exceedingly rare work" (Fitz Eugene Dixon sale, Anderson Galleries New York, January 7th, 1937, lot 189).
Four copies have appeared at auction over the past fifty years - 2001, 2000, 1985 (2 copies). All four were apparently not great examples…
A rare and charming satire on educational treatises, with illustrations designed by J. B. Willyams (1772-1820) and etched by Rowlandson (1757-1827). Rowlandson frequently etched the designs of other satirists or amateurs, generally improving the designs and using his skill with figures and settings to balance the compositions and bring the characters to life. In all of his prints after another's designs his style and humor is detectable, if not the driving force of the print.
The inclusion of Rowlandson's publication line on the plates ('Pubd May 10 1802, by T. Rowlandson, No.1 James Street, Adelphi'. The book was published by Smeeton) shows that he also published the prints separately himself.
"This title page introduces a set of prints that Rowlandson etched after drawings by Willyams, a Cornish, university-educated lieutenant-colonel who supplied supporting text using the pseudonym Joel McCringer. Rowlandson's characteristic elegance does not disguise the dark human impulses being satirized. Modern education, it is suggested, does little to teach self-control, wisdom or empathy. Scenes show boys hurting chicks and insects, youths drinking, and young men carousing and gambling. Many of the images respond to themes that Hogarth addressed in his print series "Stages of Cruelty" and "A Modern Midnight Conversation""(1751 and 1733, Metropolitan Museum of Art 32.35 (118) and 19.1.77).
1. The Nursery
2. Private School
3. Public School
5. School for Gallantry
6. School for Honour
7. School for Modern Greeks
8. School for Modern Romans
Bobins II, 717; Dixon, 189; Falk, p. 213; Grego II, p. 41; Not in Abbey; Not in Tooley;.