Title An Essay on the Art of Ingeniously Tormenting. A New Edition, Corrected, Revised, and Illustrated with Five Prints, From Designs by G. M. Woodward
Binding Full Calf, Cloth slipcase
Book Condition Very Good Minus
Publisher London Thomas Tegg 1809
Seller ID 006021
12mo. 16 by 10 cm. ,160 pp. Five hand-colored plates, the frontis plate being a fold-out. This tongue-in-cheek primer on caddishness was at the time of this edition a popular parody of the eighteenth century manuals on manners and their versions of self-improvement tracts. The text still is a funny read, and might be particularly savored as one dips into other Georgian, or Regency, comedy of manners (Sheridan, Goldsmith, Austen, etc.). Readers of the day must have laughed aloud when they recognized in the various ironic tips the bad behavior of others, and perhaps uncomfortably, in themselves. On another level, this is a work that is all about power and the abuse of power, and thus its relevance has not really receded. Woodward, being a caricaturist well-schooled in the crudities of society, is a fitting illustrator of some of the finer points of tormenting laid out in the treatise, and his illustrations more than anything else, by capturing the spirit of the work, transport us back to the time and place depicted supremely well. Condition: rebacked, with most of original spine pasted on, but missing top compartment and many chips of the original spine. Pages are heavily age toned, and some tiny closed tearing and/or edge chipping to prelims and rear blanks, and small chip to folding frontis.