////Pierce Egan. Life in London / I. R. & G. Cruikshank (illustrators). — London: Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, 1821.

Pierce Egan. Life in London / I. R. & G. Cruikshank (illustrators). — London: Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, 1821.

Title: Life in London ; | DAY AND NIGHT SCENES | OF | JERRY HAWTHORN, ESQ. | AND HIS ELEGANT FRIEND | CORINTHIAN TOM, | ACCOMPANIED BY | BOB LOGIC, THE OXONIAN, | IN THEIR |Rambles and Sprees through the Metropolis. | DEDICATED TO HIS MOST GRACIOUS MAJESTY | KING GEORGE THE FOURTH. | BY PIERCE EGAN, | Author of Walks through Bath, Sporting Anecdotes, Picture of the Fancy, Boxiana, &c. | [Vignette] | EMBELLISHED WITH THIRTY-SIX SCENES FROM REAL LIFE, | DESIGNED AND ETCHED BY I. R. & G. CRUIKSHANK ; | And also enriched with numerous original Designs on Wood, by the same Artists, | London: | PRINTED FOR SHERWOOD, NEELY, AND JONES, | PATERNOSTER-ROW. | 1821. ||

Edition: 1st edition, 1st issue: the first sheet of music is not numbered, absence of any footnote at page 9 (as per Cohn).

Pagination: 3 binder’s flyleaves with a specimen of George Cruikshank’s signature of Nov. 5th, 1860 to the first one; hand-coloured aquatint frontispiece facing the title page with blank recto, [iii-iv] – t.p. with vignette/ blank, [v] vi-viii – dedication, ix-xii – contents, [xiii]-xvi – list of illustrations; [1] 2-376; 35 hand-coloured aquatints, 3 folding leaves of music; bound without half-title [missing pp. i, ii], advertisements or ‘to the subscribers’ leaf.

Collation: 8vo; [A]7 B-Z8 Aa8-Bb4.

Binding: Full polished calf gilt by Rivière & Son, covers with triple gilt border, spine in 6 compartments, brown morocco lettering pieces to second and third, others richly gilt, raised bands, all edges gilt; neatly re-backed preserving spine.

Catalogue raisonné: Albert M. Cohn, 1924: № 262 p. 90; Abbey, J. R. (Life in England), 281; Tooley (Some English Books with Coloured Plates) 196; Prideaux (Aquatint Engraving) pp. 307, 310; Hardie (English coloured books) 197.

Description of Shapero Rare Books, London: There was a translation into French. At least six plays were based on Egan’s characters, contributing to yet more sales. One of these was exported to America, launching the Tom and Jerry craze there. The version created by William Thomas Moncrieff was praised as The Beggar’s Opera of its day. Moncrieff’s production of Tom and Jerry, or Life in London ran continuously at the Adelphi Theatre for two seasons and it was the dramatist’s work as much as the author’s that did so much to popularise the book’s trademark use of fashionable slang. In 1821 Egan announced the publication of a regular journal: Life in London, appearing monthly at a shilling a time. It was to be illustrated by George Cruikshank (1792 – 1878), and was dedicated to the King, George IV, who at one time had received Egan at court. The first edition of Life in London appeared on 15 July 1821. Egan’s creation was an instant success. Pirate versions appeared, featuring such figures as ‘Bob Tallyho’, ‘Dick Wildfire’ and the like. Printmakers speedily knocked off cuts featuring the various ‘stars’ and the real-life public flocked to the ‘sporting’ addresses that Egan had his heroes frequent.

SKU: LIB-2616.2021 Categories: ,

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