7 - 8 April 2004
[BURTON, Richard Francis]. Stone Talk: Being some of the Marvelous Sayings of a Petral Portion of Fleet Street, London, to one Doctor Polyglott, Ph.D., by Frank Baker, D.O.N. London: Robert Hardwicke, 1865.
8° (205 x 133mm). Original blind-stamped violet cloth gilt, upper cover illustrated in gilt, lower in blind, with errata leaf, (covers a little dull, spine and inner hinges repaired, front endpaper chipped).
PRESENTATION COPY FROM THE AUTHOR OF ONE OF HIS RAREST AND MOST UNLIKELY BOOKS, with a tipped-in letter from the author on his Arabic headed notepaper to, presumably, a potential reviewer, 'My dear Dixon,' asking for a 'cup-up proper' of a 'friend's small volume,' signed and dated March 10. In the jocular mood of 'Frank Baker,' Burton inquires 'How are you off for Nile Basins?' Only 200 copies were printed of this 'irreverent, satirical and at times quite humourous' work directed at 'his enemies and the constraints imposed by British society.' Of those, 128 copies went to the Press (for review) and the author, with few remaining for sale and even fewer sold. Its excessive rarity is also due to Lady Burton having destroyed a large number of copies to save her husband from possible trouble with the authorities, although he never publicly acknowledged authorship. Penzer p. 77-78. Casada 62. Kirkpatrick 26.
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