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Abbott à Beckett, Gilbert. The comic history of Rome. [London]: Bradbury, Evans, & Co., [ca. 1852]. 8vo (22 cm, 8.7"). xii, 308 pp.; 10 col. plts., illus. $325.00
Sequel to the Comic History of England: An amusingly interpreted — but, broadly speaking, generally accurate — history of Rome from its founding through the fall of Caesar, written by one of the original staff members of Punch. Originally issued serially in parts, the work appears here in a very early book-form edition. John Leech supplied the illustrations, including => 10 hand-colored plates as well as numerous in-text steel engravings and woodcuts. Leech's designs feature historic figures with a delightful contemporary spin, including Romans wearing top hats and greatcoats, dancing ballroom waltzes, and checking pocket watches, with the clever visual allusions and the tone of the text combining to suggest => trenchant commentary on Victorian society and mores.
Binding: Publisher's textured green cloth, front cover and spine with gilt-stamped vignettes. All edges gilt.
NSTC 2A1051. Binding as above, moderate rubbing to edges and extremities with top of spine pulled, gilt vignettes showing slight rubbing. Early pencilled ownership inscription in upper portion of first text page; some plate leaves a bit more age-toned than others or than text leaves. => Overall both attractive and entertaining. (37284) Please RESHELVE This.
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