London: The Punch Office, 1847, 1848. First edition. Finely bound in full straight-grain morocco with gilt and red morocco spine labels. All edges brightly gilt. Marbled endpapers. Lacking publisher's advertisements, else both volumes are complete, including half titles and containing ten colored etchings and one hundred twenty two woodcuts. The present copy is clean, tight, and square. A pleasing set.
A journalist for The Times and the Morning Herald, and a satirist for Punch, A'Beckett is best known for his witty rendition of national history in The Comic History of England. "In commencing this work, the object of the author was...to blend amusement with instruction, by serving up in as palatable a shape as he could, the facts of English History," he explains in his preface. Humorous accounts of major past events are, in these volumes, blended with the charming illustrations of John Leech, favored artist to multiple Victorian authors including Dickens. Fine (Item #2821)