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The comic history of England.
London: Published at the Punch Office, 1846–48. 8vo (22 cm, 8.75"). 20 monthly parts in 19. Original parts issue of this playfully expounded yet actually generally accurate English history, written by one of the original staff members of Punch. John Leech's famous illustrations, including => 20 hand-colored plates as well as 120 in-text steel engravings and woodcuts, feature Abbott à Beckett's historic figures portrayed with amusing contemporary touches; e.g., William the Conqueror has a handlebar moustache, a portrait of a medieval king being medically treated features patent medicine placards in the background, and Henry VIII wears an opera hat a-Maying while his queen on the occasion carries a pink parasol. In all, of course, as was to be the case also with this duo's Comic History of Rome, the history/"history" comments on the readers' own time.    These parts (i.e., fascicles) were published between July 1846 and February 1848 and the expectation was that the purchasers of the parts would have them bound when the last part was received. Consequently half-titles (printed in red), title-pages (printed in red and black), and preliminaries were printed at the end of parts 11 and 19–20, and are present here.    Comparing this set of parts to Field's collation we find one ad slip lacking in No. 19/20, but an extra (uncalled-for) one in No. 4. Four of the wrappers (Nos. 1, 2, 18, 19/20) contain different ads than those specified by Field, but clearly these are original and authentic (possibly states of the wrappers?).         Tooley, Coloured Plates (1979 ed.), 295–96; Field, John Leech on My Shelves, 130–37; Ray, Illustrator and the Book in England, 136. The condition of the set is remarkably fine: The first part has only the slightest wear at its extremities, but otherwise there is virtually no wear or soiling to the set. Housed in a quarter dark red morocco open-back slipcase with raised bands and an inner chemise, with some abrading to the slipcase.
      [Bookseller: Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts Co]
Last Found On: 2018-02-25           Check availability:      IOBABooks    

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