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Abbott à Beckett, Gilbert; John Leech, illus. The comic history of Rome. London: Bradbury, Agnew, & Co., [between 1872 & 1887]. 8vo (22 cm, 8.66"). Engr. t.-p., [v]–xii, 308 pp.; 10 col. plts. $150.00
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 and originally issued serially in parts, the work first appeared in book form in 1852; our suggested publication date is based on the name and address given for the firm.
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: Contemporary half red morocco and marbled paper–covered sides, spine with gilt-stamped leather title-label and gilt-tooled compartment decorations. Marbled endpapers AND marbled edges, to match sides!
Provenance: From the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel ("AHA") at rear.
NCBEL, III, 1143. Bound as above, moderate overall rubbing with scuffing to paper, spine darkened. Pages with light age-toning and intermittent scatterings of faint to moderate foxing. => A nice copy, with plates more brightly tinted than sometimes seen. (41679) Please RESHELVE This.
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