“OH, THIS IS HEAVINKLY, PERFECTLY HEAVINKLY!”: FIRST EDITION OF SKETCHES OF LOWLY LIFE IN A GREAT CITY, 1899
WOOLF, Michael Angelo. Sketches of Lowly Life in a Great City. New York and London: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, (1899). Oblong quarto, original half blue cloth, pictorial boards. $600.
First edition of a collection of Woolf’s late 19th-century cartoons, with over 150 black-and-white sketches of street urchins that inspired the first newspaper comic strips.
Born in England, Michael Angelo Woolf was a caricaturist with “a somewhat Cruikshankian technique” whose cartoons regularly appeared in late 19th-century American weeklies such as Life and Judge. One of the “notable figures” of American caricature, Woolf arrived in “America while young, and contributed a long series of what may be called slum-fantasies, instinct alike with laughter and sorrow, at times strangely combining extravagant melodrama with a most plausible and convincing impossibility” (Britannica). Woolf’s cartoons inspired some of the earliest newspaper comic strips, among them Richard Outcault’s Hogan’s Alley, famous for its unnamed hero, the “Yellow Kid.” Edited by Joseph Henius. Bookplate.
Very light scattered soiling to text, mild edge-wear and slight darkening to boards (as usual). Near-fine condition.