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Abbott à Beckett, Gilbert; John Leech, illus. The comic history of England. With twenty coloured etchings, and two hundred woodcuts. London: Bradbury, Evans, & Co., [ca. 1855]. 8vo (22 cm, 8.66"). 2 vols. in 1. xviii, 320, –304 pp.; 20 col. plts., illus. $150.00
Playfully expounded yet actually generally accurate English history. Written by one of the original staff members of Punch and originally issued serially in parts, this long-popular and much-republished work appears here in a fairly early book-form edition comprising both volumes. John Leech's famous illustrations, including => 20 hand-colored plates as well as numerous in-text steel engravings and woodcuts, feature Abbott à Beckett's historic figures portrayed with amusing contemporary touches; e.g., William the Conqueror has a handlebar mustache, a portrait of a medieval king being medically treated features patent medicine placards in the background, and Henry VIII wears an opera hat a'Maying while his queen on the occasion carries a pink parasol. In all, of course, as was to be the case also with this duo's Comic History of Rome, the history/"history" comments on the readers' own time.
Provenance: Front pastedown with plain paper label of Dr. Edward Bell Krumbhaar (1882–1966), a prominent physician and historian of medicine. Later in the library of Robert L. Sadoff, M.D., sans indicia.
Publisher's textured green cloth, front cover and spine with gilt-stamped vignettes, covers framed in blind; edges rubbed, gilt dimmed, covers unobtrusively reattached with hinges reinforced. All edges gilt. Half-title for vol. I present; half-title and separate title for vol. II removed by binder. Minor foxing, mostly around plates. => Exterior a bit worn, still a very nice exemplar of this popular work in original publisher's binding. (40369) Please RESHELVE This.
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