Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour. Edited by Frank Forester.
New York: Stringer & Townsend, 222 Broadway, 1856. 8vo, 425 pp. plus 6 pp. publishers catalogue. With six coloured illustrations by John Leech. Original blind-stamped publishers cloth, vignette of fox-hunting gilt-stamped on upper cover and in blind on lower cover, backstrip gilt-stamped with titles and sporting motifs, yellow endpapers. Somewhat shaken, backstrip worn at crown and foot, 1.5 inch split to lower hinge, board tips worn, lower cover scuffed, corner of front free endpaper torn away. Bookplates of John R. Kensett and William Mitchell Van Winkle. An unsophisticated copy in a custom quarter leather box. First Edition thus, Bibliographers copy. Van Winkle wrote the definitive bibliography of Henry William Herbert (1807-1858) and was a staunch defender of a man whom others found rather tragic. Herbert was the son of the Dean of Manchester and had been educated at Eton and Cambridge but lost his property and moved to New York to work as a teacher. He achieved some popularity as a writer, editor and translator on English historical and sporting themes but his arrogance and inability to forget his noble origins alienated others (Edgar Allen Poe described him as "not unapt to fall into pompous grandiloquence") and after a series of misfortunes he decided to cut short his own life. Mr. Sponges Sporting Tour was first published in England in 1853 and is a classic in the genre of sporting farces. The illustrator John Leech is perhaps best known for his engravings for the first edition of A Christmas Carol. Van Winkle, Henry William Herbert [Frank Forester] a bibliography of his writings. p. 87.
(Item Id: 109268)