The "Bab" Ballads: Much Sound and Little Sense - W. S. Gilbert 1869 - John Camden Hotten, London - First Edition ‘A Bishop once- I will not name his see - annoyed his clergy in the mode conventional: From the pulpit-shackles never set them free, and found a sin where sin was unintentional. All pleasures ended in abuse auricular, the Bishop was so terribly peculiar...’

W. S. Gilbert wrote a large number of "ballads" for the magazine Fun using his pen-name "Bab." These Bab Ballads became famous on their own, as well as being a source for plots and songs for the G&S operas.

Though the ballads are essentially English, nothing like them has ever been produced in the English language. They contain both satire and nonsense, and a great deal of utter absurdity. The ballads were very well received, and were read aloud at private dinner-parties, public banquets, and even the House of Lords. They both inspired and entertained great minds such as Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw.

In fine condition and illustrated by Gilbert who explains - ‘
I have ventured to publish the illustrations with them because, while they are certainly quite as bad as the Ballads, I suppose they are not much worse’.
  Provenance: Sir Mervyn Lloyd Peel K.B.E. (1856-1929) of Danvrallt, Carmarthenshire, with his name in ink dated 1886.

Octavo: (19 x 14 cm). pp. ix [1] 13-222 [4 pages of illustrated publisher’s advertisements]. In publisher’s green cloth, bevelled edges, spine and front board lettered in gilt, two gilt vignettes to front board, olive green coated endpapers, all edges gilt.
  Condition: Fine   Ref: 108572   Price: HK$ 3,000