ALLEN, F.M. [pseud. Edmund Downey] Brayhard. The Strange Adventures of One Ass and Seven Champions … With 37 illustrations by Harry Furniss. London: Ward & Downey, 12 York Street, Covent Garden, 1890. First edition. pp. [x], 308, 8 (publisher’s list). Pictorial blue green cloth over bevelled boards, title and author in gilt on upper cover and spine. Top edge gilt. A very good copy.
COPAC locates the BL and NLS copies only. WorldCat 1. Wolff 1887. Brown 510. Loeber D163.
A farcical legend story founded on the legends of the ancient chapbook ‘The Seven Champions of Christendom’.
Edmund Downey (1856-1937) was born in Waterford, son of a ship owner. He was educated at the Catholic University School and John’s College, Waterford. In 1878 he moved to London and worked for the publisher Tinsley Brothers and two years later became editor of Tinsley’s Magazine. In 1884 he established his own publishing house, Ward and Downey. He was one of the few publishers who issued works by living Irish authors, greatly contributing to the popularisation of the Irish novel. He retired to Waterford in 1890 and founded Downey & Co., and later was proprietor of the ‘Waterford News’.