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The Great Glass House Opend; the Exhibition Wot Is!!
(London, England) 1851 - Oblong octavo. VG, with edge wear and slight loss to last panel. Two panel hinges archivally reinforced. New spine and back cover. Anyone who knows the name of the 19th century personality, George Augustus Sala (1828-1895), undoubtedly thinks of him as a popular journalist, witty travel writer, indifferent novelist, and celebrated raconteur. So it may come as a surprise to learn that Sala first aspired to be an illustrator and comic artist. Throughout his teens and early twenties he earned his living as an apprentice to a miniature painter, an engraver, an illustrator, and a scene painter. In his spare time he also produced a pair of comic panoramas, mocking the Great Exhibition of 1851. In the first of the two, The Great Exhibit Wot Is To Be , Sala made comical predictions of what the exhibition would be like. The second, The Great Glass House Opend; the Exhibit Wot Is!!, is a fully illustrated comic tour of the exhibition in 24 accordioned panels (that fold out to 216”) in which Sala pokes fun at Britain’s imperial pretensions, its view of foreigners, and the idea that the exhibition was a display of British superiority. It is a fine bit of satire, better and more pointed than the first. Unfortunately it was the last comic art from Sala’s pen. In August of that year Sala accidentally locked himself out of his flat and was forced to wander the streets of London all night with but nine pence in his pocket. The resulting article he wrote of the experience was constructed around his inability to find a place to sleep, the hardship of life on the streets of the capital, and the subsequent social commentary that entailed. He entitled it “The Key of the Street”. When Charles Dickens accepted it for his weekly journal, Household Words, and paid Sala an astonishing five pounds for it, the artist became a writer for good. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Periodyssey]
Last Found On: 2018-02-25           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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