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Old and New London. A narrative of its history, its people and its places. Illustrated with numerous engravings from the most authentic sources.
London: Cassell, Petter & Galpin, c. 1880 - 6 volumes, quarto (262 × 190 mm). Contemporary red full morocco, titles gilt direct, gilt in compartments, triple rules to board edges, inner dentelles and all edges gilt, marbled endpapers. Spines very faintly darkened, occasional light scuffing to boards. A finely bound set in excellent condition. Frontispieces and black and white illustrations throughout. A frequent contributor to Household Words, Thornbury was one of the group, including G. A. Sala and Percy Fitzgerald, who were popularly referred to as Dickens's "young men". Of a rather ghoulish turn of mind, many of Thornbury's pieces in his "Old Stories, retold" series tended to concentrate on crime and retribution and Dickens became concerned that he was "rather given to horrors". However he was also a great admirer of Thornbury's style, "For some years I have had so much pleasure in reading you, that I can honestly warrant myself "a good audience"' [quoted in ODNB]. Thornbury was troubled by mental illness, and died at only 48 at Camberwell House Lunatic Asylum of "exhaustion from acute mania" just after the publication of the second volume in this series. To complete the work the publishers chose Edward Walford, who had just edited Charles Knight's London. He later added two further volumes on Greater London which were similarly well-received. In Historians of London Rubinstein remarks that "for light bedside reading these books are admirable". With each volume weighing in at over 1.5kg, this comment is clearly intended to be taken stylistically rather than physically.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington. ABA member]
Last Found On: 2014-10-10           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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