"IN THE FRENCH METROPOLIS, WITHER SO MANY VOTARIES OF THE SMILING GODDESS RESORT": LIFE IN PARIS, ILLUSTRATED WITH 21 HAND-COLORED PARISIAN SCENES BY GEORGE CRUIKSHANK, HANDSOMELY BOUND
(CRUIKSHANK, George) CAREY, David. Life in Paris; Comprising the Rambles, Sprees and Amours, of Dick Wildfire. London: John Fairburn, et al., 1822. Octavo, contemporary three-quarter brown polished calf, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, red morocco spine label, marbled boards. $1500.
First edition of this humorous imitation of Pierce Egan's Life in London, illustrated with 21 hand-colored aquatints and 22 wood-engravings by George Cruikshank, in handsome contemporary calf-gilt.
In 1822, English journalist and poet Carey "spent some time in Paris, and on his return published Life in Paris, written chiefly in a humorous vein, with apposite coloured illustrations" by the celebrated book illustrator George Cruikshank. The book—"one of the best imitations of Pierce Egan's Life in London" (for which Cruikshank had also supplied the illustrations)—was one of Cruikshank's earliest contributions to the medium (see Abbey). "Cruikshank succeeded his father and James Gillray as England's chief artist in comic ephemerae of all sorts. He could toss off city types and scenes from memory… and possessed an enthusiastic middle-class following. Cruikshank was at his best as an interpretive illustrator in books that permitted him to exercise his talent for comic exaggeration without distorting the author's intent" (Hodnett, 114). First issued in 21 parts, two leaves of which were canceled in the book form, as instructed by the "To the Binder" leaf (often absent, but present in this copy). Pages 143-44 are present here in both the canceled and uncanceled state; pages 335-36 are canceled, with only a synopsis of Chapter 17 on page 336, replacing a leaf with synopses of both Chapter 17 and Chapter 18 on that page). Abbey, Travel 112. Cohn 109. Tooley 129. Early owner signatures, bookplate, two dealer descriptions tipped to a front flyleaf.
Text and plates clean and fine, hand-coloring vivid, contemporary calf-gilt in excellent condition and quite handsome.