“COMPLETE PANORAMA OF THE SPORTING WORLD”
EGAN, Pierce. Pierce Egan's Anecdotes (Original and Selected) of the Turf, the Chase, the Ring, and the Stage; the Whole Forming a Complete Panorama of the Sporting World. London: Knight & Lacey, 1827. Royal octavo, original tan pictorial paper-covered boards rebacked with the original paper spine laid down, uncut. Housed in custom cloth slipcase. $1200.
First combined edition of this repository of entertaining sporting stories of the Victorian age, illustrated with a hand-colored frontispiece and 12 full-page hand-colored aquatints by Theodore Lane and numerous in-text wood-engravings.
Self-taught journalist and satirist Pierce Egan made a name in Victorian England as a sports writer, especially of bare-knuckle boxing, and the public eagerly sought out his vivid descriptions of bouts in the London Weekly Dispatch. "He was considered an authority on Regency fight clubs, and his serial Boxiana… remains a fascinating account of what he termed the 'sweet science' of boxing before gloves and the Queensbury Rules" (Stephen Carver). Anecdotes is a collection of Egan's best writings, designed "to set the table in a roar." Tooley 195. Abbey Life 283. Bookplates. Owner signature on title page.
Plates fine, text slightly finger-marked. Soiling and rubbing to original boards, bottom quarter of fragile spine perished. An extremely good copy.