“AT ONCE TOOK THEIR HIGH PLACE IN HUMOROUS LITERATURE”
INGOLDSBY, Thomas [BARHAM, Richard Harris]. The Ingoldsby Legends. London: Richard Bentley, 1855. Three volumes. Octavo, early 20th-century full brown calf, elaborately gilt decorated spine, raised bands, burgundy and olive morocco spine labels, top edges gilt. $1500.
Later edition of these comical collections of light verse, myths, historical lore and supernatural tales, wildly popular among Victorian readers, illustrated with engraved title pages, in-text decorations and 20 plates after George Cruikshank and John Leech, handsomely bound by Morrell.
Richard Barham's rollicking Ingoldsby Legends, "when published collectively in 1840… at once took the high place in humorous literature which they have ever since retained" (DNB). Their "lively rhythms and inventive rhymes, their comic and grotesque treatment of medieval legend and their quaint narratives made them immensely popular" (Drabble, 66). First published beginning in 1837 in Bentley's Miscellany and, later, in The New Monthly Magazine. "A second series was added in 1847 and a third was edited by [Barham's] son in the same year" (DNB). With engraved title page in each volume. Illustrated with 20 engraved plates after the original drawings by acclaimed Victorian artists John Leech and George Cruikshank. With original cloth bound in.
Faint, scattered foxing to interior, binding beautiful.