VINCENT, WILLIAM [IE THOMAS HOLCROFT]. - A Plain and Succinct Narrative of the Late Riots and Disturbances in the Cities of London and Westminster ... particulars of the burning of Newgate, the King's Bench, the Fleet ... with an account of the commitment of Lord George Gordon to the Tower, and anecdotes of his life ... by William Vincent, of Gray's Inn.
London, printed for Fielding and Walker 1780. Octavo later cloth (spine tips worn); ,62pp. A little browned at each end, quite a good copy. ¶ First edition of Thomas Holcroft's pseudonymous account of the Gordon riots, rushed into print within days of the end of the riots and a document central to all students of the riots. Modern scholars seem agreed it was work for hire, no forecast of his later radicalism, and for the most part it does reflect the indignant eye of conservative authority - it was after all written by a supposed lawyer rather than an autodidact shoemaker's son newly making his name as a novelist - but touches of skepticism surface here and there and a few figures get a brief sarcastic tongue-lashing. It also seems agreed that the anecdotes of Gordon pinned on to the end aren't Holcroft's and that he was unhappy with them. It was succesful enough, three editions appeared before the end of the year, and it's known that Dickens owned an annotated copy and used it in Barnaby Rudge but then, anybody interested in the riots has to use it. The text has been reprinted and reproduced often enough but this first edition does appear to be a truly scarce little book.AUD 600.00 [Appr.: EURO 425.75 US$ 459.72 | £UK 367.75 | JP¥ 51126] Book number 9175
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