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(Storybooks).  The beggar boy: Or, history and adventures of James Altamont, afterwards Earl Altamont. London: Pr. by T. Malden for Ann Lemoine and J. Roe, [1805]. 12mo (13.5 cm, 5.31"). Frontis., 36 pp.
$625.00

[with] The life of Bampfylde Moore Carew, sometime king of the beggars; containing an accurate history of his travels, voyages, and adventures, from the time of his leaving school and entering into the society of the gipsies... to which is added, a dictionary of the mendicants' cant phrases. London: Pr. for T. Hughes by J.D. Dewick, 1804. 12mo. Frontis., [2], 104 pp.
        Two entertaining — and uncommon — reads, the first from => prolific woman chapbook publisher Ann Lemoine. Young James Altamont "was deprived (for a Time) of his Inheritance, and conveyed, by the infamous Contrivance of his Uncle, to America, where he remained Thirteen Years in Slavery," as the title-page sums up the story; much of the action is set in Pennsylvania. Bound in after that is the popular tale of Carew (1693–1759), the son of a rector, who supposedly met Romani ("gypsies," but more likely a band of homeless drifters) during his teen years and quickly began a life of both adventure and chicanery. He was famous, or infamous, for his scheming use of disguises ranging from a madman to a Quaker to various female personas, and was said to have been at one point elected King of the Gypsies, hence the inclusion here of a => 16-page cant dictionary. The work has been ascribed to various authors including Thomas Goadby, Thomas Price, and Carew himself.
        Both works open with => copper-engraved frontispieces, the first being a dramatic scene featuring James and his rival love interests, Torquois and Maria (done by I.L. after W.G.), and the second a portrait of Carew (unsigned). Both items are scarce, with a search of WorldCat finding only three U.S. institutions reporting holdings of the first (NYPL, University of Virginia, Yale) and only two reporting the second in this particular printing (Newberry, University of Kentucky).
        Provenance: From the chapbook collection of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel ("AHA") at rear.

Contemporary sheep, covers framed in blind double fillet, front cover with inlaid plain leather medallion possibly obscuring original monogram or insignia; binding of old rubbed overall and with spine label now absent, front joint starting but volume quite sound and now nicely refurbished. Front pastedown with traces of now-absent bookplate shaped similarly to cover medallion; front fly-leaf with early pencilled annotation regarding contents. Offsetting from frontispieces to title-pages; Carew title-page with some pencilled underlining. Small hole to last leaf, affecting a few words on one side. Pages age-toned with occasional faint foxing, otherwise clean. => A sturdy, rakish pair of "beggars"!  (41617)   Please RESHELVE This.


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