The Diverting History of John Gilpin, by W. Cowper.
Coloured wood engraving, rare. Sheet 265 x 400mm (10½ x 15¾"). Trimmed to printed border, laid on album sheet.
Twenty illustrations on one sheet, with scenes from William Cowper's comic ballad, which was inspired by a real person, a draper of Cheapside, London. Attempting to ride to the Bell Inn, Edmonton, Gilpin loses control of his horse and over-shoots his destination by ten miles, arriving in Ware. Written in 1782 the poem was extremely popular, with pirate editions of the book and even John Gilpin toys, an early example of merchandising. Editions have been illustrated by artists as diverse as Randolph Caldecott and Ronald Searle. Edward Wallis published an edition of the poem in 1817.
[Ref: 32419] £220.00