Pierce Egan’s Life in London

00 - Pierce Egan - Life in London frontispiece

After a period of relative quiet, I should be able to make a number of updates to the site over the next few months.  The British Library is currently in the process of scanning plates from a series of books which will allow me to more than double the amount of material presented here.  In the meantime, though, I’ve added a map and a slideshow using the plates from Pierce Egan’s Life in London: Or, The Day and Night Scenes of Jerry Hawthorne, Esq. and his Elegant Friend Corinthian Tom, accompanied by Bob Logic, the Oxonian, in Their Rambles and Sprees Through the Metropolis, which was first published in serial form in 1820 and 1821 before being collected in 1821.  Egan’s book was an enormous popular success throughout the 1820s, spawning theatrical adaptations, pirate editions and a series of unauthorised spin-offs and continuations.  I’ll add an introduction shortly providing contextual information about Egan and his work and reflecting on the idea of London that his book promotes.  I’m also hoping to find a way of mapping the full text of Life in London, but this is a rather more complicated proposition, as it involves finding a way to deal with the woodcuts and other complex formatting constraints and a means for encoding small caps in a manner that the majority of browsers can decode.

Matthew Sangster

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