Philadelphia: Carey and Hart, 1846. 94pp. including 5pp. of publisher's advertisements, plus engraved frontis. and titlepage after George Cruikshank. Dbd. 12mo. Small bookseller's stamp in lower margin of engraved titlepage. Foxed, else very good. Item #WRCAM37115
First American edition of the first part of the brilliant legal satire by Gilbert Abbott à Beckett, after the first British edition of the same year. Beckett, who here parodies the revered 18th-century jurist, William Blackstone, pursued careers as both a barrister and a comic writer - he was called to the bar at Gray's Inn in 1841, the same year in which he helped found PUNCH as part of its original staff. THE COMIC BLACKSTONE was published in both its American and British editions in four parts between 1844 and 1846. The printed titlepage in the present copy refers to the work as whole (without mention of the parts), with 1846 as the publication date, while the engraved title page offers 1844. The publisher's advertisements are dated May 1845.