"THE ONLY INFALLIBLE RULE WE KNOW IS, THAT THE MAN WHO IS ALWAYS TALKING ABOUT BEING A GENTLEMAN NEVER IS ONE"
(BROWNE, Hablôt Knight) [SURTEES, Robert Smith]. Hawbuck Grange, or the Sporting Adventures of Thomas Scott, Esq. [London: Whitefriars Press, 1899]. Octavo, early 20th-century three-quarter red morocco gilt, raised bands, red linen boards, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, uncut and partly unopened. $450.
Re-issue of the first edition of this rollicking chronicle of a “gentleman” farmer, printed from the original plates, humorously illustrated with eight full-page hand-colored etchings by Hablôt Browne (”Phiz”) and 13 full-page line cuts by W.T. Maud, handsomely bound by Bayntun of Bath.
"The only infallible rule we know is, that the man who is always talking about being a gentleman never is one" (Surtees). Surtees' Hawbuck Grange is about just such a man. In the Preface to the original 1847 edition, Surtees discloses that "our friend Tom Scott, seeing his Adventures advertised as the sporting adventures of 'Thomas Scott, Esquire," wrote to us to say that he calls himself Mister— Mr. Thomas Scott, and that he has [his name painted], in honest parliamentary-sized letters, without flourish or eye-mystifying geegaw, on the back of his dog-cart." The primary illustrator of Hawbuck Grange, Hablôt Browne, began his career in association with Charles Dickens, by illustrating Dickens' little work, Sunday as It Is by Timothy Sparks (1836). The book gave Browne the opportunity to reveal his comic genius. He was then chosen by Dickens to illustrate Pickwick Papers after Robert Seymour's death. Although Browne often only received a verbal description of the scene to be depicted in a given work, "in some instances the conception of the artist unquestionably bettered that of the author" (DNB). This is the Whitefriars Press reissue of the first edition from the original printing plates, with pamphlets on the lives of Surtees and one of his other illustrators John Leech bound at the rear. Evidence of gift card removed.
Plate impressions crisp and colors bright. A fine copy, handsomely bound.