London: Thomas M'Lean, 1822. Item #05348
"One Season Makes a Proficient;
Practice Makes Perfect"
But - Peter Pop and Sam Slop are A Danger to the Peace
ALKEN, Henry. A Cockney's Shooting Season, in Suffolk, By Henry Alken. Containing The Remarkable Adventures that actually occurred to a young Cit on a visit to his friends in that County. London: Thomas M'Lean, 1822.
First edition, Complete with Sixteen Pages of Text.
Folio (14 3/8 x 10 1/8 inches; 366 x 257 mm.). [1-3], 4-16. Letterpress title and fourteen leaves of narrative verse. Six hand-colored aquatint plates. The fifth plate watermarked “J. Whatman 1821”.
Bound ca. 1900 for Hatchards [by Rivière & Son], stamp signed on front turn-in. Early twentieth century three-quarter red straight-grain morocco over red patterned boards ruled in gilt. Spine with two raised bands, ruled and lettered in gilt in compartments, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt. With the armorial bookplate of Robert Berkeley of Spetchley Park, Worcester on front pastedwon. Fifteen additional blank leaves bound in at end.
The first plate with a very small inner marginal stain, the fourth leaf of text (pp. 11/12) with a neatly repaired marginal tear mainly in blank margins. Still a near fine copy of one of the scarcest Alken titles' describing in pictures and verse the misadventures of two cockney would-be sportsmen.
On a six-day shooting trip in idyllically rural Suffolk, Peter Pop, the son of a pawnbroker, and his friend and neighbor, Sam Slop, prove a danger to the peace. Popping their guns in every direction except the right one, they hit men, women and dogs but never birds. On the last day a justice orders them to pay an enormous fine and never touch guns again.
“This is a pleasing book, well printed, with fine plates. Occasionally still to be met with. Its scarcity is probably due to the fact that the plates were often taken out and framed. No copy in Brit. Mus.” (Schwerdt).
"Sixteen pages of letterpress were printed to accompany the text, but they are usually missing." (Tooley).
1. First View of a Point.
2. First View of a Woodcock.
3. First Shot Flying.
4. Ox Bird - or Stint Shooting.
5. First Shot at a Hare.
6. The Best Shot of All.
Abbey, Life, 384; Gee, Sportsman’s Library, p. 66; Mellon Collection 48; Schwerdt I, pp. 12-13; Siltzer, p. 71; Tooley 22.