A Wonderful Flight or Journey from France to Gibralter, America &c.Related by an Eminent Author.
Very rare engraving, sheet 205 x 120mm (8 x 4¾"). Trimmed, losing text. Slight mark in sky.
A man rides on the back of a huge eagle which carries him through the air. Illustration to a narrative entitled “An Extraordinary Flight on the Back of an Eagle over France to Gilbralter, South and North America, the Polar Regions, and Back to England, within six-and-thirty-Hours,” which offered a first-person narrative of one person’s extraordinary adventures, while exploring a ruined temple on the Island of “Thanet.” A brief prefatory comment explained to readers that the account was an extract from a text by (in reality Rudolph Erich Raspe, a well known humourist), and explained that it was a “satire upon those Writers and Travellers who have renedered themselves ridiculous by the number of montrous and and incredible Stories related in their works.” (Other impressions of this print carry additional text explaining 'The Art of Lying Burlesqued in an Account of....') Although the main target of this satire was the exagerated tales included in many published travelogues of the day, its dramatic vision of a boy holding tight to an impossibly large eagle would also have evoked the more farcical side of the ballooning phenomena, which was itself a favourite theme in many satirical prints in the mid 1780s. Frontispiece to the first volume of the 'Wonderful Magazine', an entertaining but short-lived periodical founded in 1793 by the hack writer and bookseller Henry Lemoine (1756-1812).
[Ref: 39661] £260.00