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A Book of Nonsense
[London: Thomas McLean, 1856? ]. Oblong format (135 × 212 mm), plates mounted on linen stubs. Contemporary calf, sides bordered with gilt and blind rules, spine gilt, marbled endpapers. Lithographic title and 72 lithographic plates by Lear. Rebacked with original spine laid down and red morocco label renewed to style, rubbed, one corner worn, occasional spotting, a very good copy. Second edition, extremely rare complete, indeed "virtually unfindable" according to Ray. Privately printed in a very small edition of between 250 and 500 copies, the second edition contains three illustrations not present in the trade edition, and which have never appeared since. The work which swept the limerick to popularity, Lear's famous Book of Nonsense was first published in 1846, with 73 lithographic limericks by Lear. "Lear made new lithographic stones for this second edition, which may be rarer than the first" (Ray). In the second edition the captions are altered and for the first time set out uniformly in the now familiar five-line form, emphasizing the AABBA rhyme scheme (they are mostly set in three lines in the first edition). The second edition has no printed title or imprint, only the first limerick "There was an Old Derry Down Derry" with the title incorporated in the illustration. Ray, The Illustrator and the Book in England from 1790 to 1914, no. 92A. Second edition, as rare as (if not rarer than) the famously rare first edition, litho title and 72 litho plates by Lear
|Last Found On: 2012-06-14 Check current availability from: Alibris
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