Very Good. Item #7008
London: Bradbury, Agnew, & Company, 1887. "New and Revised Edition." Octavo; xxviii + 324pp. Ten full-page color caricatural-editorial illustrations and 20 line-drawing caricatural vignettes by Harry Furniss.
Glossy blue percaline with gilt and black pictorial stamping on spine and front panel; blind-stamped double border on rear panel. Some tanning to spine with minor wear at crown and foot. Front panel has two nicks to the cloth and two splatter stains in lower left corner, but gilt and black remain brilliant and whole. Minimal foxing on pages adjacent to coated endpapers. Previous owner's neat signature with date—"S.J. Banning / January 3rd 1888"— on half-title. Textblock unmarred and unmarked.
Gilbert Abbott à Beckett (1811-1856) claimed descent from Thomas à Becket, of canonized legend, but his career headed in a more jocular direction. He was one of the founding staff members of Punch, where, later, his son, Arthur William (1844-1909), who edited this revised edition, would also be on the staff from 1874 to 1902. Both father and son dedicated their volume to “the folly of the Commissioners of the Courts of Request . . . for extracting merriment from a dry subject by rendering law a burlesque and justice a farce.” They were snarkily assisted by comic illustrator Harry Furniss (1854-1925), another Punch contributor.