AINSWORTH, WILLIAM HARRISON. 1805-1882.
Jack Sheppard. A Romance. London: Richard Bentley, 1839.
3 volumes. 8vo (215 x 137 mm). [xii], 352; iv, 292; [viii], 312 pp. Engraved portrait frontispiece in volume 1, 27 steel-engraved plates and 2 woodcuts by George Cruikshank. Original green-cloth, spines gilt lettered. One plate foxed, mild rubbing and wear to extremities of cloth.
Provenance: Harold Locke (armorial bookplates).
FIRST EDITION. Ainsworth's Newgate novel about the hero-criminal Sheppard was an immediate success. By the fall of 1839, no fewer than eight stage versions had been mounted, with few theaters even offering Jack Sheppard souvenirs. This triple-decker, issued the same year the novel began its run in Bentley's Miscellany and a year before Bentley brought it out separately in monthly parts, is the only edition which provides music for the ballad "St. Giles' Bowl." Cohn 12; Ellis p 361; Sadleir 14.