"I SHALL MOST CERTAINLY RETURN TO LONDON TO ENJOY A FEW MORE SPREES": FIRST EDITION OF LIFE IN LONDON, WITH VIVIDLY HAND-COLORED PLATES BY THE CRUIKSHANKS
[EGAN, Pierce]. Life in London; or, The Day and Night Scenes of Jerry Hawthorn, Esq. and His Elegant Friend Corinthian Tom. London: Printed for Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, 1821. Octavo, 19th-century full brown calf rebacked with original elaborately gilt-decorated spine laid down, raised bands, burgundy and brown morocco spine labels, top edge gilt. $3600.
First edition, first issue, of this popular novel about the life in the British capital, with 36 hand-colored plates and 21 wood engravings after illustrations by the Cruikshanks, handsomely bound.
"Egan's greatest success came in 1821, when his two characters Tom and Jerry first appeared, in Life in London… Its popularity was instant and unprecedented, and the demand for copies increased with every month. Its attractions lay in both content and style, for its contrasting characters and scenes, setting the misery of low life against the prodigal waste and folly of high society, were all presented with vivacious dialogue and lively description and accompanied by the excellent illustrations of the brothers George and Robert Cruikshank" (DNB). First issue, without footnote at the bottom of page 9 and first sheet of music at page 118 unnumbered. Tooley 196. Abbey, Life 281. Cohn 262.
Minor offsetting from plates to text, light rubbing and scratching to binding. An extremely good copy.