“PERSONS FAMOUS FOR THEIR ECCENTRICITY, IMMORALITY, DISHONESTY…”
CAULFIELD, James. Portraits, Memoirs, and Characters, of Remarkable Persons, from the Revolution in 1688 to the End of the Reign of George II. London: H.R. Young and T.H. Whitely, 1819-20. Four volumes. Octavo, 19th-century full straight-grain navy morocco gilt, marbled endpapers and edges. $1200.
1819 edition of Caulfield’s engaging collection of eccentric biographies, with 155 engraved portraits.
A print dealer, Caulfield began issuing individual engraved portraits with descriptions as early as 1790. His quirky and delightful “remarkable characters” are “persons famous for their eccentricity, immorality, dishonesty, and so forth” (DNB), and include such characters as Granny, “a drunken half-blind woman,” John Valerius, “born without arms,” Colonel Francis Charteris, “a debauchee,” Mrs. Sarah Mapp, “a female bone-setter,” Little Will, “waiter at the Turk’s-head Coffee-house,” Patie Birnie, “an impudent Scotch fiddler,” Thomas Guy, “a bookselling miser,” Sarah Pridden, “a profligate prostitute,” and Daniel Defoe, “a political writer and novelist.” Bookplates.
Scattered light foxing. A handsome set.