c1891 Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour
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Colour Plates, Illustrated, Pleasing Copy, Publishers' Original Binding
Robert Smith Surtees was an English editor, novelist and sporting writer best known for his contributions to the first English sporting periodical to devote itself to every type of sport, 'The Sporting Magazine'. Surtees launched his own sporting magazine entitled the 'New Sporting Magazine' in 1831, contributing the comic papers which appeared as 'Jorrocks' Jaunts and Jollities' in 1838. Jorrocks, the eponymous, vulgar and artful sporting cockney grocer was a great success with the public and is often considered as one of the great comic characters of English Literature, However, another work that appeared within Surtees magazine (containing an equally humorous titular hero) was this text, 'Mr Sponge's Sporting Tour'. Following the fortunes and exploits of a man determined to better himself at the perpetual expense of others, this story is often regarded as Surtees's best work. This edition was printed for subscribers 'from the plates of the original ed. issued by Bradbury, Agnew & Co'. This copy is undated, dated using Copac. Copiously illustrated throughout with black and white in-text wood engraved illustrations by Surtees' long-term collaborator John Leech. This copy also features fourteen coloured steel engraved plates, each with a protective tissue guard. Plate 'Mr Sponge Declares Himself' has been rebound as the frontispiece.
In the publisher's original decorative cloth binding, with gilt and black stamped pictorial decoration to the front board and spine. Externally very smart, with slight bumping to extremities and fading to spine. Slight offsetting to endpapers, with prior owner's ink inscription to front free-endpaper. Front hinge slightly split and strained after frontispiece plate, but reasonably firm. Internally firmly bound. Pages very bright and clean, with only the odd light spot to the occasional page.
Very Good Indeed
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