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LEVER, Charles. St. Patrick’s Eve. FINE BINDING BY LARKINS. Illustrated by Phiz (Hablot Knight Browne).
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London: Chapman and Hall, 186 Strand, 1845. Small octavo. First edition. pp. [iv], 203. Bound by J. Larkins in full green crushed levant morocco, covers framed by double gilt fillets and a dog-tooth roll. Spine divided into six panels by five gilt raised bands, title and author in gilt direct in the second and third, the remainder tooled in gilt with harp and shamrock tools at centre; board edges ruled in gilt; wide gilt doublures with binder’s name in lower margin of upper cover; cream endpapers; green silk marker. Armorial bookplate of Henry Raphael Herbert on front pastedown. Spine evenly faded. Occasional mild foxing. Top edge gilt. A fine and attractive copy. [L3 5D]
Loeber L150. Sadleir 1420. “THE SUREST FUND OF DROLLERY” Charles James Lever was born in Dublin in 1806. Educated at T.C.D. where he graduated B.A. in 1827. Four years later he qualified as a doctor and worked with the victims of the cholera epidemic at Kilrush, County Clare. Afterwards he was appointed dispensary doctor at Portstewart, County Derry, where he met William Hamilton Maxwell, whose ‘Wild Sports of the West’ inspired the manner and tone of Lever’s early military novels. These entertaining novels portray the comic adventures of insouciant and ebullient young subalterns of the Napoleonic period enjoying themselves in an Ireland which allows them plenty of scope for hunting, drollery, practical joking, and romantic escapades. Trollope in his autobiography said of Lever: “Of all the men I have ever encountered, he was the surest fund of drollery ... Rouse him in the middle of the night, and wit would come from him before he was half awake”. A story of the evils of absentee landlordism set during the cholera epidemic in County Clare in 1832 when Lever served as a dispensary doctor there.
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