London: Cochrane and Pickersgill, 1831. George Cruikshank. Illustrated Edition. Leather with gilt-stamping. 12mo, (6 7/8" x 4 1/2"0, red morocco leather with gilt lettering on spine, five hubs, and decorative rules, illustrated with frontispiece and three colored engravings by George Cruikshank (tissue guards), a.e.g. [all edges gilt], gauffered internal decorations & marbled endpapers, xxxvi + 403 pages. Very Fine / None. Item #2421
Tobias George Smollett (1721 – 1771) was a Scottish poet and author. He was best known for his picaresque novels, such as The Adventures of Roderick Random (1748), The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle (1751), and The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker (1771), which influenced later novelists such as Charles Dickens.
During 1750, Smollett was granted his MD degree in Aberdeen, and also travelled to France, where he obtained material for his second novel, The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle. Thereafter, he returned from Bath to London and published The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom during 1753. Now recognised as a major author. Smollett became associated with David Garrick, Laurence Sterne, Oliver Goldsmith, and Samuel Johnson, whom he famously nicknamed "that Great Cham of literature." During 1755 Smollett published an English translation of Miguel de Cervantes's novel Don Quixote, which he revised during 1761.
The Expedition of Humphry Clinker was the last of the picaresque novels of Smollett, published in London on 17 June 1771 (just three months before Smollett's death). It is considered by many to be his best and funniest work.
It is an epistolary novel, presented in the form of letters written by six characters: Matthew Bramble, a Welsh Squire; his sister Tabitha; their niece Lydia and nephew Jeremy Melford; Tabitha's maid Winifred Jenkins; and Lydia's suitor Wilson.
Much of the comedy arises from differences in the descriptions of the same events and places seen by the participants. The setting, amidst high-society spa towns, inns, and seaside resorts of the 18th century, provides his characters with many opportunities for satirical observations on English and Scottish life, manners, and politics. Smollett also relies heavily on scatalogical humor.
The author's travels in Scotland, France, and Italy influenced his novel.--Wikipedia (abridged).
SUPERB EDITION with lively colored engravings by the inimitable Cruikshank. A near-flawless leather binding by Hatchors of Piccadilly.