"A TRUE PICTURE OF LONDON AS IT IS": THORNTON'S DON JUAN, 1821-22, WITH 31 LOVELY HAND-COLORED PLATES BY ATKINSON
(ATKINSON, John Augustus, illustrator) THORNTON, Alfred. Don Juan. London: Thomas Kelly, 1821-22. Two volumes. Octavo, early 20th-century full red levant morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt. $2500.
First edition of this satirical survey of life in early 19th-century England, wonderfully illustrated with 31 hand-colored aquatint plates by Atkinson, handsomely bound in full morocco-gilt by Root & Son.
"The first volume is a parody of Mozart's and Byron's Don Juan, the second an imitation of Egan's Life in London" (Abbey). Illustrator John Augustus Atkinson's work "had something of the lively and happy interest in human life of Thomas Rowlandson and the caricaturists of the period… After his return to London he worked almost exclusively in aquatint and watercolor both of which suited his deceptively improvisatory manner. His occasional weaknesses in draughtsmanship were more than compensated for by the sharpness of his observations and the vitality and liveliness of his compositions" (ODNB). Abbey Life 323. Tooley 486.
Upper corner of Volume I title page repaired. Text and plates generally clean, slight rubbing to joints, bindings sound and quite handsome. A lovely illustrated work in near-fine condition.