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Poetry, Verse and Rhymes; Games. 0767: Anon., The Elderly Gentleman

Author: Anon.
Title: The elderly gentleman [?]
Cat. Number: 0767
Date: No date but c.1823?
1st Edition:
Pub. Place: London?
Publisher: J. Marshall?
Price: 1s 6d ?
Pages: 1 vol., 12pp.
Size: 17.5 x 10.5 cm
Illustrations: Twelve coloured engravings
Note: Title-page missing. Inscription: 'Miss Nancy Davis 24 July 1823 Belgian Place Pimlico'

Images of all pages of this book

Page 003 of item 0767

Introductory essay

The title-page of this volume is missing, leaving us to guess the work's title and publication details. The title is probably The Humourous old Story of the elderly gentleman, his cane, wig and hat, and the work has the look of the picture books published by John Marshall, at 140 Fleet Street, in the 1820s, and collected by Nancy Davis (whose name is inscribed on the fly-leaf).

The narrative is a simple one. An elderly gentleman has his hat blown into a river by the wind. While trying to fish it out, his wig falls into the water too. Attempting to recover that, the gentleman himself falls in. He is rescued by a Newfoundland dog, which he subsequently befriends and purchases from its owner for two guineas. The final stanza tells of the dog's eventual death. It is accompanied by a half-gruesome, half-comic representation of Death skewering 'poor Tray' with his dart (p.12). A Newfoundland dog's rescue of a drowning human had provided the climax of Eliza Fenwick's The Life of the Famous Dog Carlo (0162), itself a spin-off from Frederic Reynolds' successful play, The Caravan; or, the Driver and his Dog (1803).