A'BECKETT, GILBERT ABBOTT. 1811-1856.
The Comic History of England [and] Rome. London: Bradbury, Agnew, & Co. 1897-98.
14 and 7 parts. 8vo (253 x 179 mm). 30 hand-colored steel engravings and hundreds of woodcut illustrations by John Leech. Original pale green wrappers printed in red and blue; publisher's cloth folders stamped in gilt on spine and upper covers. Prospectus inserted at front of part 1. Some light overall wear and one or two neat repairs to wrappers, diagonal tear extending the width of front cover of part 12, soiling and spotting to front wrapper of part 1 (England), mild soiling to cloth folders.
Provenance: Bryan C. Bardey (period ownership inscription to front wrapper of final part).
FIRST COMBINED EDITION IN ORIGINAL MONTHLY PARTS. 50 years after the original publication of A'Beckett and Leech's popular collaboration, Bradbury, Agnew, & Co. reissued the works in parts beginning in May 1897, introducing a new generation of readers to this irreverent take on the roots of English culture. The Cambridge History of English Literature assessed the undertaking of these Punch colleagues from an earlier era as "wonderfully well maintained."