AINSWORTH, WILLIAM HARRISON. 1805-1882. Autograph Manuscript Signed ("W. Harrison Ainsworth"), entitled "True Account of Jack Sheppard the Housebreaker...," 359 leaves (most recto only), 4to, London, 1837-38,

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 2
AINSWORTH, WILLIAM HARRISON. 1805-1882.
Autograph Manuscript Signed ("W. Harrison Ainsworth"), entitled "True Account of Jack Sheppard the Housebreaker...," 359 leaves (most recto only), 4to, London, 1837-38,

Sold for US$ 43,750 inc. premium

Fine Literature

11 Apr 2016, 10:00 EDT

New York

AINSWORTH, WILLIAM HARRISON. 1805-1882.
Autograph Manuscript Signed ("W. Harrison Ainsworth"), entitled "True Account of Jack Sheppard the Housebreaker...," 359 leaves (most recto only), 4to, London, 1837-38, in ink and pencil, comprising a collection of autograph manuscripts, drafts, and notes of the historical novel Jack Sheppard, including the greater part of "Epoch the First" of the novel, "Epoch the Second" and "Epoch the Third"; together with a synopsis of the novel under the earlier title "Scroope Darrell," and historical notes and extracts on the history of Jack Sheppard, with three autograph letters and two engraved portraits of Sheppard and Ainsworth tipped in, and fragments from the manuscript of Ainsworth's novel Old St. Paul's (1841). Bound in 2 volumes, the first 4to, red morocco gilt by Riviere & Sons, the second folio, morocco-backed green boards with spine lettered in gilt with material tipped to larger leaves. Some leaves trimmed, others pasted with corrections, some creasing, tears and soiling, occasional restoration or reinforcement of leaves.
Provenance: Adrian H. Joline of New York City (his sale, Anderson Galleries, part 9, February 23-24, 1916, Lots 10 and 11); Albert B. Ashforth, Jr. (bookplate in second volume); Arthur A. Houghton (bookplates in each volume; his sale, Christie's London, June 13, 1979, Lot 4).

A fine original manuscript from the pen of William Ainsworth, a contemporary of Dickens, his work long overshadowed. The work was originally serialized in Bentley's Miscellany, January 1839 through February 1840, and published as a triple-decker by Richard Bentley in October 1839. Jack Sheppard (1702 -1724) was a famous English thief and burglar who escaped prison four times before finally being hanged at Tyburn. The early synopsis of the novel under the original title "Scroope Darrell" (later "Thames Darrell") indicates the initial thrust of the story concerned virtuous Darrell as the main character with the more romantic Sheppard playing only a subservient role in the narrative. Here Winifred Wood is named "Alice": she does not marry Darrell and instead dies of a broken heart while he weds the higher born Lady Millicent. Ainsworth had always wanted to write about Sheppard; and as he was conducting detailed research into the real man and his times for the novel (included here), he elevated the celebrated criminal to the central focus of the story.

The two volumes comprise chapters V-VIII and XIII-XXXII of Epoch III (with the final chapter here forming two chapters of the published text), and partial or complete chapters V-VII, XII and XVIII of Epoch II and chapters II and III of Epoch III. This heavily corrected material at times differs considerably from that in the finished novel. Bentley was apparently deeply involved in the composition of the story, demanding extensive changes that delayed its publication. That may explain the many cuts and insertions within the first volume and the rough nature of some of the drafts. Ainsworth writes to his agent Charles Ollier in a letter of December 10, 1838 (included here with tipped-in transcription in composite volume), "I send the M.S. of Jack Sheppard for Bentley's inspection .... I cannot, for a moment, suppose that he will retreat from his promise of Saturday. But if he does, I will certainly take a very different course both in the arrangement of my book, and as to its mode of publication. At the same time, I am anxious that you should satisfy him of my zeal upon the occasion, and on this head you cannot speak too strongly. I am heart and soul in the matter. The larger parcel contains the M.S. as prepared for the Miscellany, the smaller parcel contains the excised matter, that Bentley may satisfy himself of the extent of the alterations." Also included in the second composite volume is an undated brief note on mourning paper, perhaps addressed to George Cruikshank, the book's illustrator, "Dear George, Pray send the block with the name Jack Sheppard to the printer's as soon as you can. They are waiting for it. I wish to see you for a few minutes, and will call upon you about half past 3 on Thursday. Be in the way. Always your's W. Harrison Ainsworth. Tuesday Night." Even with all its revisions, the second part of the manuscript contains cleaner copy of the later chapters from which the type was evidently directly set. Jack Sheppard was perhaps the most popular example of the "rogue novel" or "Newgate novel" that tended to glamorize criminals. Charles Dickens greatly resented the popular opinion that in Oliver Twist he had "written a book after Mr. Ainsworth's fashion." Jack Sheppard was also famous for Cruikshank's lively illustrations; and accusations that the story promoted crime only boosted its sales. "Such libels on humanity; such provocations to crime; such worthless, inane, disgraceful romances as Jack Sheppard and its successors, are a blot on our literature, and a curse to our land," complained Edgar Allan Poe. Nevertheless, Jack Sheppard outsold even Oliver Twist (that ran simultaneously in Bentley's and also with Cruikshank pictures) to become the most successful English picaresque novel of the 19th century.
Contacts
AINSWORTH, WILLIAM HARRISON. 1805-1882. Autograph Manuscript Signed ("W. Harrison Ainsworth"), entitled "True Account of Jack Sheppard the Housebreaker...," 359 leaves (most recto only), 4to, London, 1837-38,
AINSWORTH, WILLIAM HARRISON. 1805-1882. Autograph Manuscript Signed ("W. Harrison Ainsworth"), entitled "True Account of Jack Sheppard the Housebreaker...," 359 leaves (most recto only), 4to, London, 1837-38,
AINSWORTH, WILLIAM HARRISON. 1805-1882. Autograph Manuscript Signed ("W. Harrison Ainsworth"), entitled "True Account of Jack Sheppard the Housebreaker...," 359 leaves (most recto only), 4to, London, 1837-38,
AINSWORTH, WILLIAM HARRISON. 1805-1882. Autograph Manuscript Signed ("W. Harrison Ainsworth"), entitled "True Account of Jack Sheppard the Housebreaker...," 359 leaves (most recto only), 4to, London, 1837-38,
AINSWORTH, WILLIAM HARRISON. 1805-1882. Autograph Manuscript Signed ("W. Harrison Ainsworth"), entitled "True Account of Jack Sheppard the Housebreaker...," 359 leaves (most recto only), 4to, London, 1837-38,
AINSWORTH, WILLIAM HARRISON. 1805-1882. Autograph Manuscript Signed ("W. Harrison Ainsworth"), entitled "True Account of Jack Sheppard the Housebreaker...," 359 leaves (most recto only), 4to, London, 1837-38,
AINSWORTH, WILLIAM HARRISON. 1805-1882. Autograph Manuscript Signed ("W. Harrison Ainsworth"), entitled "True Account of Jack Sheppard the Housebreaker...," 359 leaves (most recto only), 4to, London, 1837-38,
AINSWORTH, WILLIAM HARRISON. 1805-1882. Autograph Manuscript Signed ("W. Harrison Ainsworth"), entitled "True Account of Jack Sheppard the Housebreaker...," 359 leaves (most recto only), 4to, London, 1837-38,
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armor, Coins and Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, Wine & Whisky

27.5% on the first $12,500 of the hammer price;
25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of $12,500 up to and including $600,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of $600,000 up to and including $6,000,000;
and 14.5% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of $6,000,000.

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card for returning clients only. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Lot symbols
Financial interest

"Bonhams" owns the "Lot" either wholly or partially or may otherwise have an economic interest.

App