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THE ENGLISH DANCE OF DEATH Ackermann 1815, 1816


Author: By the author of "Doctor Syntax" [William Combe 1742-1823]
Title: THE ENGLISH DANCE OF DEATH, from the designs of Thomas ROWLANDSON, with metrical illustrations, by the author of "Doctor Syntax." Vol.I + Vol.II.
PlacePub: London
Publisher: R. Ackermann's Repository of Arts (printed J. Diggens).
Date: 1815, 1816
Illustrations: Hand-coloured plates (71 of 72 - lacks "the Waltz" in Vol.II) + hand-coloured frontis & engraved titlepage by Thomas Rowlandson.

Two Volumes gilt half black roan on 4 faux raised bands with red gilt-titled spine labels and marbled boards (tips and edges worn/rubbed). Hand-coloured engraved title with large vignette of 8 skeletons dancing in a graveyard + printed title +[4]pp Index to Vol.I + iii-viii Advertisement by the Author + 295pp; Vol.II hand- coloured frontis of Death atop a globe + printed title + [4]pp Index to Vol.II + 299pp. Almost all plates show off-setting to opposite leaf and "shadow" on page facing back of illustration. Some spotting or staining to margins of text pages and plates. One plate poorly re-inserted with brown glue, about 12 others with nicks or trimming of captions. All have 2 pin pricks to fore-edge margins, so this set was probably bound up from original parts issues, which usually had 3 plates per part and preceded the book editions. *PROVENANCE - the original owner of these books was the author's second wife Charlotte Combe, whose signature appears on the flyleaf of both volumes. Combe lived for many years imprisoned for debt within the limits of the King's Bench Prison - he married Charlotte in January 1814, shortly before the parts publication of the English Dance of Death, and died in the King's Bench 19th June 1823. His widow Charlotte afterwards went to live in Ireland with her friend Mrs Eugenia Curtis, widow of Joseph Curtis of Booterstown, whose son James Gray William Curtis later owned the books - his armorial bookplate is on the pastedown of both volumes. He died in 1870. The next owner was Henry A. Grimston whose signature March 13th 1873 is on the fly-leaves. Parts of this history are given in a laid-in typescript (signed R.R.J. 7/5/1905) addressed to the last recorded owner, R.G. Brown Esq.

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