COMPLETE TWO-ISSUE RUN OF GEORGE CRUIKSHANK'S MAGAZINE, ILLUSTRATED AND FEATURING FOUR FOLDING PLATES BY CRUIKSHANK
(CRUIKSHANK, George and FAIRLEGH, Frank) SMEDLEY, Frank E., editor. George Cruikshank's Magazine. London: D. Bogue, 1854. Two volumes. Octavo, original pictorial cream paper wrappers, uncut and unopened. Housed in a custom cloth chemise and half morocco pull-off box. $2500.
First editions of the January and February issues—all published—of Cruikshank's Magazine, illustrated and with four folding plates depicting the Comet of 1853, Elephantine Performances, methods for curing a bear of a sore head, and the disagreeable aspects of smoking, in original wrappers.
Cruikshank's Magazine was the artist's attempt at a humorous magazine, written during a somewhat unstable period during which Cruikshank began to embrace fads and threw himself into teetotalling. In fact, the first issue, January, deals largely with abstaining from smoking. Dickens, in his Household Words, had attacked Cruikshank over his Fairy Library, in which Cruikshank modified traditional fairy tales into alcohol abstinence tracts. As his first inclusion in his February Magazine, Cruikshank chose a screed against Dickens (despite the fact that the pair had been frequent collaborators on works such as Sketches and Oliver Twist). Thus began a crusade. Although the magazine was canceled, Cruishank grew increasingly devoted to his view of morality, a passion reflected in his work. "Only two numbers were published when the magazine came to an abrupt termination" (Cohn 185).
Slight dampstaining to smoking plate, light wear mainly affecting extremities of wrappers. Near-fine condition.