London: Printed for the Author: And Sold by D. Wilson, 1751. Item #05593
First Edition of The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle
Tobias Smollett's Satire on Human Cruelty, Stupidity, and Greed…
[SMOLLETT, Tobias]. The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle. In which are included, Memoirs of a Lady of Quality. In Four Volumes. London: Printed for the Author: And Sold by D. Wilson, 1751.
First edition. Four twelvemo volumes (6 3/8 x 3 3/4 inches; 161 x 95 mm.). [ix], [i, blank], 1-288; [x], 1-322; [vi], 1-205, [1, blank]; [vii], [i, blank], 1-315, [1, blank] pp. Volume III with leaf L12 (pp. 227/228) in canceled state.
Handsomely bound in early twentieth-century polished calf by Rivière & Son (stamp-signed on the verso of the front free endpaper). Covers ruled in blind, spines ruled in blind with five raised bands and two olive green morocco gilt lettering labels, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers. Date in gilt at foot of spine. A fine and very attractive example.
The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle is a picaresque novel by the Scottish author Tobias Smollett, first published in 1751 and revised and published again in 1758. It tells the story of an egotistical scoundrel who experiences luck and misfortunes in the height of eighteenth-century European society. Peregrine's journey through Europe, his many debaucheries and his final repentance all provide scope for Smollett's satire on human cruelty, stupidity, and greed…
Tobias Smollett (1721-1771), “English satirical novelist, best known for his picaresque novels. Smollett apprenticed as a surgeon, and throughout his life he combined the roles of medical man and writer…In 1748 Smollett published his novel Roderick Random, a graphic account of British naval life at the time, and he also translated from the French the great picaresque romance Gil Blas. Peregrine Pickle was published in 1751, and The Adventures of Ferdinand, Count Fathom…appeared in 1753…He translated Don Quixote from the Spanish (1755), and in 1756 he became editor of The Critical Review, a Tory and church paper, at the same time writing his four-volume Complete History of England (1757-58…In 1759 he was convicted for libel on Admiral Sir Charles Knowles in The Critical Review, fined, and sentenced to three months’ imprisonment in the King’s Bench Prison. He drew on his experiences there for his two-volume novel The Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves (1762)…His finest work, Humphry Clinker (1771), recounts the adventures of a family traveling through Britain” (Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of Literature).