Diorama Anglais, 1823, with 24 hand-coloured plates by Cruickshank
[Pierce Egan and George & Robert Cruikshank (illustrators)]. Diorama Anglais, Ou Promenades Pittoresques à Londres, Renfermant Les Notes Les Plus Exactes Sur Les Caractères, Les Moeurs Et Usages de la Nation Anglaise, Prises Dans Les Différentes Classes de la Société. Paris, Jules Didot & Baudouin Frères, 1823. 8vo. , 235, [1 blank] pp. With 24 delicate hand-coloured aquatints and several tailpieces. Contemporary brown half sheepskin, shell-marbled sides, blue sprinkled edges. Text leaves foxed throughout, joints starting, corners bumped, otherwise in good condition.
First and only French edition of Egan's immensely popular Life in London, with 24 finely hand-coloured aquatints by George and Robert Cruikshank.
First published in 1821, Life in London narrates the adventures of socialite Corinthian Tom, his cousin Jerry Hawthorn and their friend Bob Logic, who explore high and low life in London. The plates include illustrations of a cock fight, a boxing lesson, Carlton Palace, the Press Yard at Newgate Prison, a ball at Vauxhall, Tom Cribb, a game of whist, dancing and drinking at All Max, etc.
The author, Pierce Egan, was a boxing enthusiast who wrote extensively on the sport (he authored, among others, the first three volumes of Boxiana; or Sketches of Ancient and Modern Pugilism). The present work includes a description of John Jackson's famous boxing academy at 13 Bond Street, where Jackson taught 'scientific' boxing, and where one of the protagonists takes a self defense lesson. Afterwards the trio visit Tom "The Black Diamond" Cribb, celebrated English bare-knuckle boxer, who became world champion in 1811 after defeating Tom Molineaux in a grueling 33-round(!) match.
"As a result of the success of Life in London, the names Tom and Jerry became proverbial for young men causing disorder, though there is no solid evidence to suggest that they influenced the creation of the cartoon cat and mouse duo of same name", as the British Library writes.
SP Lohia Collection ID905.