by Gardom, Edmund Westby (1832?-1889?)
1871-1882. Pebbled Cloth. Very Good. Fabulous collection of original songs, musical parodies (of opera) and playlets illustrated throughout with vignettes of great whimsy, some in color. 8vo 24 by 19 cm. 143 leaves, or close to 200 pp. The 120 or so illustrations abound in effete courtiers, crones, damsels, funny hats, outlandish gowns, the characters of opera, all rendered with precision and fine detail. The artist was a true miniaturist inasmuch as the very smallness of the scale is bound to bring delight and appreciation -- one is unlikely to wish the drawings were any larger. The light verse he concocted is a perfect complement to the illustrations, and one can wonder whether these parodies were performed in the parlour! Among the works are "Lucrezia Borgia", inspired by Donizetti; "The Lay of the Claimant", a spoof on the Victorian cause celebre Roger Tickborne, who claimed to be an heir to an baronetcy, and was subsequently imprisoned for perjury; "The Shah of Persia", an Orientalist romp; "The Frolic of Love", which makes fun of various national stereotypes in the matter of romance; "The Rink and Rinkers", which must be one of the earliest send-ups of the new fad of roller skating (the patent for roller skates with four wheels dates to 1863 and this lyric is dated 1876); "The Zoo", with original anthropomorphic renderings; "Lord Mayor's Day", with caricatures of Disraeli and Gladstone; and several other winsome pieces. Throughout the author suggests melodies from opera and operetta to sing his verses to. Perhaps the most extraordinary aspect of the manuscript is the perfect union of verse and illustration, which each complementing and enriching the other -- this is something seldom encountered in amateur efforts. Dampstain on rear board.
(Inventory #: 003259)