Peg Woffington - Charles Reade 1899 - George Allen, London - First Edition with the Thomson illustrations An attractively bound copy of popular Victorian author Charles Reade’s episodic novel of the life of Irish actress Peg Woffington, this edition the first featuring the charming illustrations by Hugh Thomson.

Margaret ‘Peg’ Woffington (c1737-1757) took leading roles in Dublin and London, and was renowned for both her comic turns as well as being celebrated for her portrayals in many of Shakespeare’s plays. She was also known for her bitter rivalries with other actresses – she reportedly stabbed Mrs Bellamy during a performance – in addition to her numerous love affairs. Thus, her life provided excellent material for a novel.

Hugh Thomson’s illustrations evoke a ‘smiling awareness of the unheroic aspect of everyday life; his relish for the counterbalancing bravery of period costumes, coaches and horses, and elegant furniture; and his brisk style give his work irresistible charm.’

Features black and white frontispiece, numerous vignette engravings throughout, and an introduction by Austin Dobson.
  Charles Reade (1814-1884) was born in Oxfordhire, and in 1831, won a demyship to Magdalen College, Oxford. In 1852 be began a long career as a theatre manager and dramatist, successfully adapting the play Masks and Faces into the novel, Peg Woffington. Reade, highly influenced by Charles Dickens, was considered by the public Dickens natural successor. He is best remembered for his 1861 novel The Cloister and the Hearth.

References: Drabble,
Oxford Companion to English Literature 840. Hodnett, 218. National Portrait Gallery, web.
8vo. pp. [4] li [1] 298 [4] [4 - Original cloth cover and back-strip bound in at rear] [6]
  Finely bound by Rivière & Son in full red levant morocco, spine in six compartments lettered in gilt, turn-ins and dentelles tooled in gilt, top edge gilt, in matching morocco-tipped cloth slipcase.   Condition: Near fine, slight toning to spine, 4 cm repaired closed tear to lower fore edge of page xxi, 1 cm closed tear to upper fore edge of page li.   Ref: 107436   Price: HK$ 3,500