“AS SERIOUS ENGLISH GRAMMARS HAVE HITHERTO FAILED TO EFFECT THE DESIRED REFORMATION, WE ARE INDUCED TO ATTEMPT IT BY MEANS OF A COMIC ONE”
(LEECH, John, illustrator) [LEIGH, Percival]. The Comic English Grammar. BOUND WITH: (SEALY, Thomas Henry). Broad Grins from China. BOUND WITH: MORIER, James. Martin Toutrond; or, Adventures of a Frenchman in London. London: Richard Bentley, 1851-52. Three volumes bound as one. 12mo, contemporary three-quarter brown calf gilt, raised bands, marbled boards. $400.
Early edition of Leigh’s “new and facetious introduction to the English tongue,” handsomely bound with two other contemporary works.
Leigh, a friend of Thackeray’s and trained as a physician, eventually became one of the Victorian age’s best-known comedic writers; John Ruskin said of his work, “It contains the finest definition and natural history of the classes of our society; the kindest and subtlest analysis of its foibles, the tenderest flattery of its pretty and well-bred ways, with which the modesty of subservient genius ever immortalised or amused careless masters.” This new edition of Leigh’s Comic English Grammar (first published 1840) boasts numerous in-text illustrations by the celebrated caricaturist John Leech. Leech’s work has “survived in charm and humor to give us a refreshing glimpse of mid-Victorian society” (Houfe, 207). Bound with a first edition of Thomas Henry Sealy’s Broad Grins from China and a third edition of Martin Toutrond (first published 1841; second edition 1849). Lowndes, 1613 (for Morier). Owner signatures.
Inner paper hinges split, binding sound. A fine copy, handsomely bound.