The History of the Adventures by FIELDING, Henry (1707-1754).

FIELDING, Henry (1707-1754).

The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews, and his friend Mr. Abraham Adams. By Henry Fielding, Esq. London, Newbery & Dublin, Walker, 1776.

First Dublin Juvenile Edition. 16mo, (122 x 72 mm), engraved frontispiece (shaved at head) and pp. [xii], 166, many pages cut very close at the top, shaving a couple of headlines and page numbers, text generally grubby with a few pages particularly dog-eared, in the original Dutch floral boards, sometime rebacked (not very sensitively) with Dutch floral paper, internal paper restoration to front gutter, with a contemporary ownership inscription on the front free endpaper ‘Mr[s] Dealy oner [sic] of this Book... (?) June the 13th 1816’ and with contemporary manuscript accounts on the rear pastedown.

A scarce Dublin printed abridgement of Joseph Andrews aimed at the children’s market. This is an excellent example of the middle ground of children’s literature, where juvenile fiction intersects with and borrows from mainstream literature. Considerably fatter than most children’s books, this juvenile Fielding has very much the feel of a book: it is chunky, but it fits easily into a pocket, and, crucially, is bound in Dutch floral boards, the trademark binding of younger juveniles.

Francis Newbery first published an abridged version of Joseph Andrews in 1769, accompanied by a frontispiece and five other engraved plates, an edition that Gumuchian describes as ‘excessively rare’. Further Newbery editions appeared in 1784, 1793, both with the illustrations and in 1799, without. This Dublin printed juvenile edition probably has nothing to do with the Newbery family, save the respectability of the borrowed name on the title-page.

ESTC has five entries for actual Newbery printings of this title:
i. London, F. Newbery, 1769 (Roscoe J131 (1), pp. xii, 149, [1], plates) ESTC t89898, at BL only. Cotsen also has an imperfect copy.
ii. London, F. Newbery, 1769 (not in Roscoe), pp. x, 176 (ie. 196), plates) ESTC n4293, at Harvard only.
iii. London, E. Newbery, 1784 (Roscoe J131 (2), pp. x, 163, [1], plates) ESTC t89899, at BL, Harvard, Morgan (2 copies), Toronto and Yale. Cotsen also has a copy, wanting two of the plates.
iv. London, E. Newbery, 1793 (Roscoe J131 (3), pp. 180, plates) ESTC n17521, at Morgan only.
v. London, E. Newbery, 1799 (Roscoe J131 (4), pp. 136, [8], frontispiece) ESTC n6990, at BL, Cambridge and UCLA.

Not in Roscoe, but see J131; see also Gumuchian 2522 (Elizabeth Newbery’s 1784 edition, ‘excessively rare’) and 2523.

ESTC t225861, at the British Library only.

Keywords: English Literature
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