London: Printed for Thomas Boys of Ludgate Hill [printed by Thomas Davison, Whitefriars], 1820. Cruikshank, Isaac Robert. First Edition. Hardcover. Quarto size, 212 pp. (not matching pagination, see below), with 12 aquatints by Isaac Robert Cruikshank. Near fine. Item #18041717
A humorous collection of sketches exalting through parody the merits of the thrifty. The writing, although very much a parody, contains many nuggets of truths which illuminate how little the world has changed in the about 200 years since the book's publication: "Money, money alone, though it has been unaccountably neglected by authors, strangers perhaps to its very name, and still more to its practical use and management. . .is the mainspring of all human action, want, wish, and desire." The author goes on to state that it is the desire of "the Save-all Club" to keep "the Kind and Benevolent Reader" out of the grip of poverty through thrift. The "Rules of the Club" provide amusing proof of such virtue: Rule VI, "The smallest superfluous expense is not only a reproach to a member, but he may be fined by the Committee, for the use of the poor"; and Rule IV, "As a new coat never fails to attract animadversion in the Club, the members are requested to avoid that singularity as much as possible. If it prove that the coat is only turned, the owner shall dine that day GRATIS".
Isaac Robert Cruikshank (1759-1856) was a popular English caricature artist and cartoonist, and like his brother George, is known for his pioneer work in the history of comics and comic strip cartoons. He collaborated often with George, who is better known for his work with Charles Dickens.
This edition was originally issued in boards, and had pp. 39-42, 87-110 and 163-178 omitted, as is the case in this edition (and all known editions) and which is explained in a footnote appearing on p. xvi: "The reader will perceive an hiatus after p. 38, another after p. 86, and a third after p. 162. Some digressions occurred in those places on subjects too abstruse to be generally interesting; they have therefore been withdrawn; but in consequence of a temporary absence of the author, the suppression took place after the work was printed. As the connexion of its parts is not disturbed, it is hoped that the liberty thus taken will be tolerated with indulgence." Additionally, this copy has plate no. 11 bound as the frontis instead of being bound at p. 186. Each plate is marked, "Designed and Etched by I. [which appears as a "J" at this date, in keeping with the Latin tradition] R. Cruikshank," and bears the imprint, "Published by Thomas Boys Ludgate Hill, London Dec. 1 1819."
___DESCRIPTION: Custom bound by Bennett Book Studio, NY (with their binder's stamp on the verso of the front free endpaper), in quarter blue morocco and marbled paper covered boards, backstrip stamped in gilt, top-edge gilt, fore- and tail-edges uncut, engraved title page with the coloured vignette of a three-pronged candlestick (which is thrifty as one can burn a candle down to the base), twelve aquatint plates including frontis; quarto size (10 1/8" by 6 5/8"), pagination: [i] ii-xvi  2-38, 43-86, 111-162, 179-240 pp., first edition.
___CONDITION: A near fine copy, the marbled paper boards clean and unrubbed with only a few, light stray marks, the leather shelfback smooth with a few light spots of rubbing and the gilt bright, straight corners, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean, and the volume is entirely free of prior owner markings; some sunning to the spine, light rubbing to the corners, some of the plates have toned with corresponding offsetting to the opposite text pages, one leaf (pp. 221-222) with the fore-edge bottom corner torn (loss of about an inch, only in the ample margins, with no loss of text); still overall a near fine copy.
___CITATION: Tooley, no 165, this copy without the final advertisement leaf, which "is however usually wanting".
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