The Analysis of The Hunting Field; Being A Series of Sketches of the Principle Characters That Compose One. The Whole Forming a Slight Souvenir of The Season, 1845-1846
By Robert Smith Surtees. Illustrated by Henry Thomas Alken.
Published by Rudolf Ackermann; Cook and Co., Printer and Engravers, London (1846).
First Edition, Second Issue.
In Good condition. No dust jacket as issued. Some wear and short tears to cloth at end of spines, and a light and short split to cloth at backstrap. Top edge darkened, with some browning to pages and some occasional light foxing. With titles and preface dated 1846.
There are 6 hand colored plates (including frontispiece), and a hand colored title page. Plates 2, 3, and 4 are dated Nov. 19th. In original maroon cloth, with gilt front and spine decorations.The First Printing is quite scarce in any condition.
Her Offered at $350 postpaid in U.S. (Subject to Prior Sale)
Robert Smith Surtees (1805-1864) was an English editor, novelist and sporting writer. Thackeray envied him his powers of observation, while William Morris considered him ‘a master of life’ and ranked him with Dickens. In The Analysis of the Hunting Field, Surtees offers wry, fatherly advice in this satiric romp through the key archetypes of the fox hunt. As Lord Denham says in his introduction, “this should be required reading for anyone connected with hunting. From the right sort of Master to the wrong sort, from the hunting nobleman to the whip and from the blacksmith to the braggart with horses to sell we find the people ‘pon the ‘orses are much the same as today.”
Alken worked in both oil and watercolor and was a skilled etcher. His earliest productions were published anonymously under the signature of “Ben Tallyho”, but in 1816 he issued The Beauties & Defects in the Figure of the Horse comparatively delineated under his own name. From this date until about 1831, he produced many sets of etchings of sporting subjects mostly coloured and sometimes humorous in character, the principal of which were: Humorous Specimens of Riding 1821, Symptoms of being amazed 1822, Symptoms of being amused 1822, Flowers from Nature 1823, A Touch at the Fine Arts 1824, and Ideas 1830. Besides these he published a series of books: Illustrations for Landscape Scenery and Scraps from the Sketch Book of Henry Alken in 1823, New Sketch Book in 1824, Sporting Scrap Book and Shakespeare’s Seven Ages in 1827, Sporting Sketches and in 1831 Illustrations to Popular Songs and Illustrations of Don Quixote, the latter engraved by John Christian Zeitter.
Alken provided the plates picturing hunting, coaching, racing and steeplechasing for The National Sports of Great Britain (London, 1821). Alken, known as an avid sportsman,is best remembered for his hunting prints, many of which he engraved himself until the late 1830s. (Charles Lane British Racing Prints pp. 75–76). He created prints for the leading sporting printsellers such as S. and J. Fuller, Thomas McLean, and Rudolph Ackermann, and often collaborated with his friend the sporting journalist Charles James Apperley (1779–1843), also known as Nimrod. Nimrod’s Life of a Sportsman, with 32 etchings by Alken, was published by Ackermann in 1842. In many of his etchings, Alken explored the comic side of riding and satirized the foibles of aristocrats, much in the tradition of other early 19th century caricaturists such as Thomas Rowlandson and James Gillray. One of his best known paintings, “The Belvoir Hunt: Jumping Into And Out Of A Lane”, hangs in the Tate Britain and shows one of the oldest of the great foxhound packs in Leicestershire. A collection of his illustrations can be seen in the print department of the British Museum. – From wikipedia