London: John Cassell, 1852. Cruikshank, George. First Edition. Leather bound. First British edition with George Cruikshank illustrations in book form, duodecimo size, 416 pp. Near fine. Item #18120101
"Uncle Tom's Cabin" by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) was a hugely successful work of anti-slavery literature, fueling the abolitionist cause and contributing to the beginnings of the American Civil War; the book spawned much outrage in the South, as the institution of slavery and the treatment of slaves is presented in a negative light, and led to the publication of many "anti-Tom" novels (also called plantation novels). Although the novel is often now associated with negative influences such as the stereotypical presentations of African Americans and the racist minstrel shows of the nineteenth century, Stowe's book continues to be a strong influence on writers and civil rights movements, with an enduring message still relevant today.
This volume is the first British edition, published in 1852, and features wood engravings by renowned caricaturist George Cruikshank (1792-1878); he created numerous political caricatures satarising the royal family and politicians, and he illustrated many books, particularly for Charles Dickens. The text with Cruikshank's illustrations was originally published in thirteen parts by John Cassell, and this volume is the first edition in book form.
Also included is an extra set of illustrations, twelve black-and-white lithographs, taken from another edition of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and bound into the book; these illustrations also have captions matching the characters and events in the book and are placed with the appropriate part of the text. In a fine binding by Bickers & Sons, who, according to an ad they placed in "The Educational Times", dated July 2, 1900, had been in business for over fifty years.
___DESCRIPTION: Full navy leather, gilt ruled borders on the front and rear board, the spine with five raised bands, gilt ruled borders, ornaments, and lettering, gilt rules along the edges of the boards, top edge gilt, fore- and bottom edges rough cut, gilt ruled turn-ins, grey endpapers, original ribbon marker, frontispiece a wood engraving by George Cruikshank, title page with black-and-white wood engraving by Cruikshank captioned "Eva and Topsy.", twenty-eight black-and-white wood engravings (including frontispiece) by Cruikshank throughout, extra set of twelve black-and-white lithograph plates throughout; duodecimo size (7.75" by 5"), pagination: [i-v] vi-xxiii [xxiv]  2-391 .
___CONDITION: Volume is near fine, with clean boards, straight corners, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, and the interior is clean and bright; very slight rubbing to the corners and to the edges of the spine, off-setting to the margins of the endpapers and on the verso of the lithograph plates, very minor foxing on some of the interior pages, one very short closed tear to the top margin of the leaf for pp. 51-52, and there is a prior owner inscription in pencil on the first flyleaf, reading "For Phyllis Sears / with a Merry Christmas / from / J(?). R. A. Jr. / 25th December 1915".
___CITATION: Hildreth p. 9.
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