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Political Life of Cornelius Cuffey, Esq., Patriot, &C., &c
London: Printed for sale at the Bazaar in aid of the Governesses' Benevolent Institution, 1848. Exceptionally Rare Black Political Parody [POLITICAL PARODY]. [COLOR PLATE BOOKS]. The Political Life of Cornelius Cuffey, Esq., Patriot, &c., &c. Illustrated in Pen and Pencil by C.R.W. and J.H.J. London: Printed for Sale at the Bazaar in Aid of the Governesses' Benevolent Institution. [Reeve, Benham, and Reeve, Letter-press Printers and Lithographers...], 1848. Quarto (11 x 8 1/2 inches; 280 x 216 mm.). [18] pp. (including title-page). Hand-colored lithographed frontispiece and eight hand-colored lithographed plates. All but one of the plates with its original tissue guard, some guards slightly creased, last leaf of text slightly creased and a little soiled at edges. Publisher's gray lithographed wrappers, expertly rebacked at an early date. Inner hinges professionally strengthened.Front wrappers slightly soiled at outer corners. Housed in a felt-lined half black morocco clamshell case, spine with five raised bands decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments. Overall a splendid example of this exceptionally rare color-plate book. The eight leaves of text are all written in verse: I. The Preparation.; II. The Speech.; III. The Presidency.; IV. The Procession.; V. The Meeting.; VI. The Conflict.; VII. The Flight.; VIII. The Home. The plates are captioned: [Frontispiece] "Cornelius Cuffey Esqr. 'A pillar of the State, engraven on his front Deliberation, sate and anxious care'"; I. "Mr. C.-scratcheth for ideas"; II. "Mr. C.-on his legs in the John St. Parliament"; III. "Mr. C.-President of the Republic. (in his own imagination)"; IV. "Mr. C.-proceeds to Kennington Common"; V. "Mr. C.-espieth a Policeman"; VI. "Personal encounter between Mr. C & the Policeman"; VII. "Mr. C's retreat-double quick time!-"; and VIII. "Mr. & Mrs. C.-At Home-." This 'Political Parody' is based on the life of William Cuffay, one of the leaders of the British working-class movement for political reform (1838-1857), commonly known as 'the People's Charter' or 'Chartism' movement. His grandfather was an African slave and his father was a West Indian slave from St. Kitts. His 'fictitious death' was lampooned in Punch in November 1848. Very scarce, with only two complete copies located in institutions and libraries worldwide: Harvard University (MA); Library of Philadelphia (PA). There is one other (imperfect with only eight plates) copy at the Mediatheque de Montpellier (France). William Cuffay (1788-1870) was one of the leaders of Chartism, which was the largest political movement ever seen in Britain. His grandfather was an African slave and his father was a West Indian slave, from St Kitts, who managed to gain his freedom and settle in Chatham, Kent. Cuffay trained as a tailor and moved to London where, in 1834, he was involved in the tailors strike for shorter hours. In 1839 he joined the Chartist movement and soon became well known for his oratory and sense of humour. At the final mass demonstration for the Charter on Kennington Common on 10 April 1848, he protested strongly at the decision to call off the march to the House of Commons to present the petition. He called the national leadership a set of cowardly humbugs. In August 1848 Cuffay became involved in a secret revolutionary committee which was planning an uprising in London. He was arrested, tried and convicted, on the evidence of two police spies, of levying war against the Queen. He was sentenced to transportation for life in Tasmania. In Hobart he carried on working as a tailor and remained actively involved in Tasmanian politics for twenty years. His wife was able to join him in 1853 and he was granted a free pardon in 1856. In 1870 he died a pauper in the workhouse. William Cuffay s reputation during the Chartist years was immense, yet he was subsequently forgotten for over 130 years. This book aims to set him in his historical context and restore him to his rightful place as one of the key figures in British history. Not in Abbey; Bobins; Martin Hardie; or Tooley.
      [Bookseller: David Brass Rare Books, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2018-02-15           Check availability:      Biblio    

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