“AN AMERICAN CLASSIC”: NOTHING TO WEAR: 1858 ILLUSTRATED LONDON EDITION OF THIS AMERICAN SATIRE IN RHYME, WITH DELIGHTFUL FOLD-OUT HAND-COLORED PLATES
BUTLER, William Allen. Nothing to Wear: An Episode of City Life. London: Rock and Co., Nov. 30th, 1858. Square 12mo, original red illustrated glazed paper boards, blue cloth spine; housed in custom full burgundy morocco slipcase. $600.
First English edition of this delightful American satire, a color-illustrated fold-out volume with hand-colored plates, in original pictorial boards.
William Allen Butler, 1825-1902, was a prominent attorney and public figure of his day. “Gifted with a nimble wit and a faculty for rhyming which reminds one often of Lowell’s, he wrote a number of satirical poems one of which, Nothing to Wear: An Episode of City Life, has become an American classic” (DAB). This illustrated volume folds out into ten connected panels, each with a hand-colored illustration and a stanza of one of the poem’s most amusing segments (this is not the full text of Butler’s poem).