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Poetry, Verse and Rhymes; Games. 0769: Anon., The Emperor's Rout

Author: Anon.
Title: The emperor's rout. Illustrated by copper plates
Cat. Number: 0769
Date: 1831
1st Edition:
Pub. Place: London
Publisher: Charles Tilt
Pages: 1 vol., 38pp. and two page book-list
Size: 15.5 x 9 cm
Illustrations: Four delicately coloured full-page engravings
Note: Inscription: 'Julia L Belcher'

Images of all pages of this book

Page 006 of item 0769

Introductory essay

As its opening lines make plain, The Emperor's Rout was envisaged as a sequel to William Roscoe's The Butterfly's Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast, first published in 1806 (0835-HC0836A). The conceit is that the moths, jealous of the butterflies' social lives, organise their own festivities. As such,The Emperor's Rout is another of those many works written in the same vein as Roscoe's pioneering work, the most famous of which was Catherine Dorset's The Peacock 'At Home' (0569J, 0762 and 0836C).

But The Emperor's Rout is in fact a rather different species of work. Though the verse aims at wit and light satire of the fashionable world, it is accompanied by sometimes lengthy lepidopteran notes, identifying the various moths and adding one or two observations on their appearance and habits. The illustrations are also of a different order to those which accompanied The Butterfly's Ball and its clones. They are highly detailed and quasi-scientific engravings, although two of them, rather oddly, show the moths dancing and feasting.