Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cockney Adventures

Charles Jameson Grant was very prolific and very popular during the early days of the penny press, he drew gag cartoons for newspapers, illustrated song-books, produced woodcut comic strips for various ‘Comicalities,’ woodcut and engravings for print-sellers and, like Cruikshank, he illustrated various novels in penny parts. He was the bête-noir of Charles Dickens, illustrating knock-offs of his works for penny blood publisher Edward Lloyd. According to an advertisement in Cleave’s Weekly Gazette for 1835, Grant provided woodcuts to “The Penny Pickwick,” “The Sketch Book by “Bos,” “Oliver Twiss,” and “Nicholas Nickleberry.” In addition to the Lloyd swipes, most of them written by Thomas Prest, he illustrated Renton Nicholson’s “Cockney Adventures,” and (possibly) “Dombey and Daughter.”

Cockney Adventures, by Renton Nicholson, was published in London by W. M. Clark from Nov. 4, 1837 to December 30, 1838. It was printed in green wrappers, like Dickens works, probably to fool the unwary customer.

Thomas Farris began publishing “Dombey and Daughter” in 1846, a 92 page “moral fiction” with a humorous illustrated wrapper and 12 half-page woodcuts.

Sam Weller’s Budget of Recitations was published by J. Clement in 1837. The author was Thomas Prest.

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