Item Details

Loving Ballad of Lord Bateman [Harpers, mss, maquettes].

Var. nd [circa 1900]. Unique. Hardcover. Bookplate of renowned author and librettist Harry Bache Smith. Also bears armorial bookplate of Claire Mendel, noted German Consul and collector.
A bit of background on Lord Bateman: "An adaptation of the traditional ballad attributed to Thackeray (British Library Catalogue) with preface and notes by Dickens. George Cruikshank regaled a dinner of the Antiquarian Society with a rendition of the ballad. On "hearing Cruikshank mournfully intone the word's of the Turks' daughter to the imprisoned Lord… Dickens offered to polish it into an even more solemn absurdity. He told Cruikshank to ask his sister Fanny to take down the music and 'to be sure to mark the shades and the expression.' And although he kept his part in The Loving Ballad secret, he not only wrote a burlesque introduction and notes, but altered lines and substituted a new last verse." (Johnson, p. 260). It has also been suggested that Thackeray arranged the old ballad, Dickens is thought to have contributed the 'scholarly' notes, and Cruikshank provided the illustrations.
This volume is comprised of four parts, the first is an engraving of Thackeray of unknown origin, the second is Dec. 1892, Harper's Magazine article by Anne Thackeray Richie considering the history of the story's origin and arguing that her father was responsible without Dicken's contribution. The third part is 4 mss pages in Harry Bache Smith exploring his Bateman holdings and its history (and noting a direct contradiction to Richie's argument). Finally and notably, there are 3, 4-up fo leaves which appear to be maquettes of Cruikshank's illustrations for the 1939 first edition...no other such set is known to exist.
An unusual and genuinely significant collection. Very Good+. Light shelf/edge wear, age toning to some leaves, creases to some, two bookplates at front pastedown, ephemera laid in, else tight, bright, and unmarred. Full tan leather binding, two raised bands, gilt lettering and decorative elements, dentelles, marbled endpages. 8vo. np. Illus. (b/w plates). [comprised of three parts, see below]. Item #10271

Price: $7,500.00

See all items in ABAA-VBF