Drunken Barnaby's Four Journeys to the North of England

Richard BRATHWAITE

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Item#: 126422 price:$1,250.00

Drunken Barnaby's Four Journeys to the North of England
Drunken Barnaby's Four Journeys to the North of England

"A SPRIGHTLY RECORD OF ENGLISH TRAVEL": DRUNKEN BARNABY'S FOUR JOURNEYS, ILLUSTRATED

BRATHWAITE, Richard. Drunken Barnaby's Four Journeys to the North of England [Barnabae Itinerarium]… Together with Bessy Bell. London: S. Illidge, 1723. 12mo, early 20th-century full plum morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spine and covers, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $1250.

Third edition of Brathwaite's "rollicking" and "sprightly" travel narrative in verse, charmingly illustrated with copper-engraved frontispiece and five full-page plates, beautifully bound in full morocco-gilt by renowned French bookbinder Petrus Ruban.

"The most famous of Brathwaite's works appeared in 1638 with the title of Barnabae Itinerarium… this is a sprightly record of English travel, in Latin and English doggerel verse; it was neglected in its own age, but being reprinted achieved a considerable success during the 18th century" (DNB II, 1142). "This didactic and satirical text describes four journeys between Kendal (Brathwaite's home) and London. The route taken is different in each instance. It is a remarkable example of the trend for topographical writings in the 1630s, but in its rollicking style it also prefigures some of the picaresque novels of the 18th century" (ODNB).

This copy bound by French bookbinder Petrus Ruban, who flourished around the turn of the previous century. "An important aspect of Ruban's work was his craftsmanship, described by contemporary critics as irreproachable… By 1910, the year in which he handed over his atelier to Charles Lanoë and retired to Neuilly, examples of his work had been included in all of the major book auctions in Paris, including those of the collectors Durel, Belinac, Bordes, and Piolenc" (Duncan & De Bartha, Art Nouveau and Art Deco Bookbinding, 195-96). After the 1638 first edition, a second edition appeared in 1716. Lowndes, 260. Morocco-gilt bookplate of Major W. Van R. Whitall of Pelham, NY, whose large library was dispersed at auction in 1927; evidence of bookplate removal.

Text and plates clean and fine, light rubbing to front joint, binding sound and near-fine. A lovely little volume.

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