London: c.1850s. Hardcover. Good. Item #355660-H
Undated, but mid 1850s would be a decent estimate based on the contents. Bound in contemporary marbled boards, with leather spine and corners. Quite rubbed and worn. Some pages have old closed tears, and a few others have open tears, but there is no loss. The printing throughout is generally very clean and readable. Whilst there is no easy way of knowing, this feels as if it has been collected and bound as a working volume by a performer or musician, or possibly a music promotor. A number of pieces are signed "Miss Evans", though that may just be an ownership signature. There was a significant song and supper scene in London's Covent Garden district in the period this volume is from and there would have been routine access to the artists. The title page for "Spring, Spring, Beautiful Spring" composed by Eliza Cook is autographed by Eliza Cook (1818 1889), who was an English author and poet associated with the Chartist movement. She was a proponent of political freedom for women, and believed in the ideology of self improvement through education, something she called "levelling up." This made her hugely popular with the working class public in both England and America. Her poem The Old Armchair (1838) made her a household name for a generation, both in England and the United States. In that year, she published Melaia and Other Poems. From 1849 to 1854 she wrote, edited, and published Eliza Cook's Journal, a weekly periodical she described as one of "utility and amusement. The volume has been autographed by two other very well known identified Victorian Entertainers : Fred Robson (1821 1864), and Edwin Pearce Christy (1815 1862), and there are a couple of other pieces with unidentified signatures. The opening score is The Postman's Knock Song and this starts with a stunning colour title page (see photographs). The book has a number of these beautiful title pages at the start of the music scores and it is unusual to find them still bound in as often they were cut out and framed. The title page for "Vilikens and his Dinah. Sung by Mr F Robson in the Musical Farce of The Wandering Minstrel" is autographed by Fred Robson (1821 1864), born Thomas Brownbill he was an English comedian, actor and ballad singer. During his acting career, he combined outstanding comic gifts with the power of moving an audience to a sense of tragedy or pathos. He was well known for performing as a Cockney streetsinger, in The Wandering Minstrel, a one act farce by Henry Mayhew, performing the role from around 1852 with revivals in many towns and at the Olympic Theatre in the West End of London until not long before his death in 1864. The title page for "Christy's Minstrels, I'm off to Charlestown" is autographed by Edwin Pearce Christy (1815 1862), who was an American composer, singer, actor, stage producer and the founder of the blackface minstrel group Christy's Minstrels. He was an influential person in the history of Minstrelsy and theatre in American history. His career in minstrelsy began in New York in the 1840s and from there he became a sensation. He and six other performers performed around the country in blackface and eventually he began composing his own minstrel songs and sketches. In 1855 he retired as a performer, but he continued to be involved in the theatre as he managed his original group Christy's Minstrels. Edwin Christy committed suicide during the American Civil War due to money troubles. The full list of the 22 music scores bound in the book are as follow: The Postman's Knock Song, Campton Races, Britannia The Pride of the Ocean, Will You Come to My Mountain Home, The Wishing Gate, What Are The Wild Waves Saying, Bonnie Dundee, Oh Charming May, Hearts and Homes (signed but unidentified), Shells of Ocean, Ever of Thee, Goodbye Sweetheart Goodbye, Vilikens and his Dinah, I'm off to Charlestown, Spring Spring Beautiful Spring, The Scotch Polka, The Royal English March, Annen Polka, The Albion Schottisch, The Royal Irish Quadrilles (signed but unidentified), Polka Elegante and La Reine Des Roses. This is unusual book with an unusual combination of autographs. Size: Large Folio. Approx. 14 inches x 10.5 inches and 1 inch thick. . Quantity Available: 1. Category: Antiquarian & Rare; New Arrivals; Inventory No: 355660-H. This item may require more postage than the rates shown for delivery outside the UK. If extra postage is required we will contact you before processing your order and you will be given the details and option to decline the extra cost.
Keywords: BZDB395 Antiquarian & Rare; New Arrivals; Victorian Music signed by the Chartist supporter Eliza Cook 18181889 An unusual bound volume of twenty two music scores and lyrics also autographed by Fred Robson 18211864 and Edwin Peare Christy 18151862