Thomas Day Esq.r
London, Richard Bentley, 1844.
Stipple engraving, sheet 225 x 145mm (9 x 5½"). Slight foxing; trimmed inside platemark on three sides.
Thomas Day (1748-89), author and political campaigner. Day was part of the Lunar Society of Birmingham, and his research included adopting two girls from foundling hospitals and trying to educate (in accordance with Rousseau's ideas) one of them into becoming a suitable wife. The project was unsuccessful, but one of the women, Sabrina Sidney, later married Day's friend John Bicknell. With Bicknell, Day wrote the best-selling narrative poem 'The Dying Negro', which told the story of a runaway slave. Day supported American independence and his poem 'The Devoted Legions' (1776) was a scathing indictment of the British government's actions. Day also made an astonishing reputation as a writer of instructive children's fiction such as 'The History of Little Jack' (1787). Day and his wife Esther resided at Anningsley in Surrey from 1783, which they ran primarily as a philanthropic concern. With the welfare of its workers the principal concern, the Days laboured to 'create a new Jerusalem', a quixotic project typical of this 'holder and practitioner of strange ideas...a strange bundle of contradictions' (DNB). Engraved after a portrait by Joseph Wright of Derby (National Portrait Gallery), which had itself been commissioned by Day's friend Richard Lovell Edgeworth and was intended to portray Day as a 'man of feeling'.
Not in O'D; for earlier state see ref. 35300.
[Ref: 35297] £60.00