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Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour; Handley Cross; Ask Mamma; Plain or Ringlets?; Mr. Romford's Hounds; Hawbuck Grange; Hillingdon Hall.

London: Bradbury, Agnew & Co., [late 1800s] Stock Code: 20076
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A very handsomely bound set of the works of Robert Smith Surtees, the great Victorian writer of hunting and sporting literature.

"In 1838 Surtees published in book form a collection of his magazine articles featuring Mr Jorrocks, the 'jolly, free-and-easy, fox-hunting grocer' (to use Surtees's own description), under the title of Jorrocks's Jaunts and Jollities. A longer, more rounded Jorrocks novel, Handley Cross, appeared in 1843 and another, Hillingdon Hall, in 1845. Then came two insipid productions, The Analysis of the Hunting Field (1846) and Hawbuck Grange (1847), both revolving around fox-hunting but lacking plot or strong characterization. His first moderate success came with Mr Sponge's Sporting Tour (1853). This was followed by two novels of a different type, Ask Mamma (1858) and Plain or Ringlets? (1860), in which the sporting interest is only part of a broader picture of provincial society. Although these contain interesting social detail and some memorable characters, they too suffer from having no strong central figure to hold the plot together. His last book, published posthumously in 1865, was Mr Facey Romford's Hounds, which Surtees himself regarded as a good sequel to Mr Sponge and which some critics consider his best novel" (ODNB).

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7 volumes, octavo. Bound in early 20th century red half-calf, with gilt titles, gilt decoration and raised bands on spines, gilt rules to boards, marbled paper boards, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt, other edges untrimmed.


With 105 hand-coloured illustrations by John Leech.


Heads and tails of spines and edges slightly rubbed, fore-edges browned. Otherwise fine.


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Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

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