Old and Happy.

Old and Happy.
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London: Printers’ Pension Corporation, [1917]. 8vo. 92, [1 leaf] pp. With 3 photogravure plates (incl. frontis. portrait, the other 2 after drawings by John Hassall & Will Owen). Original full vellum, slightly wrinkled and soiled. Gilt decoration on upper cover. Sir A.E. Richardson’s bookplate in front pastedown. Number 255 of an edition of 500, signed by Ridge on the limitation leaf. An account by Ridge of visits to the Almshouses in Wood Green, with a short story and a fable. DNB notes: “In 1890 he published his first sketches of London life for the St James Gazette under the pseudonym Warwick Simpson... Pett Ridge's first novel, A Clever Wife (1895), ‘made more stir than most first novels do’ (Adcock, 274), according to contemporary Arthur St John Adcock, but it was not until Pett Ridge's fifth, Mord Em'ly (1898), that he achieved popular success... Cockney school novelists, including Henry Nevinson, Edwin Pugh, Arthur St John Adcock, and Pett Ridge did, however, owe a great deal to Dickens, particularly his portrayal of the virtuous poor; unlike Dickens, Pett Ridge's work as a whole explored the East End proper, that is, east of Aldgate pump. Later critics of Pett Ridge and the others saw their work as sentimental and facetious, an instrument for assuaging middle-class guilt.” (Item Id: 106766)

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