Quarto (280 x 230 mm.), full contemporary cloth hardboard binding, blind ruled with gilt title embossed at an angle across the upper board. With half title, full title, Introduction, Contents, 12 chromolithographic anthropomorphic maps and 2 leaves of publishers adverts. Contents loose, otherwise a nice example.
A PRESENTATION COPY FROM LILLIAN LANCASTER to her niece. An atlas of caricature maps reflecting the perspective of a Victorian Britain facing the likes of Garibaldi and Bismark in Europe. The author William Harvey (1796-1873) used the pseudonym ‘Aleph’. He was a doctor and active journalist for the City Press who wrote on London and the author of London Scenes and London People published in 1863. In his introduction he writes how the maps were drawn by a fifteen year old girl for the amusement of her sick brother. Her identity has since been identified as Lillian Lancaster, born Eliza Jane Lancaster in 1852 (d.1939) in London. She most likely met Dr. William Harvey through her family in Islington. She went on to the stage as a pantomime artist, comedy actress and singer. The idea apparently came from an earlier drawing of England represented by Punch riding on a dolphin. Their intent was not just entertainment but also educational as the introduction states ‘no history no journal can be understood without acknowledge of maps, and good services is done when we make such information more easy and agreeable’. The date of issue is derived from the four page advert bound at the end which includes two items referring to the year 1869. This PRESENTATION COPY was given to her aunt, which one exactly is not clear. Her nieces were Dora and Lillian Lancaster, daughters of her elder brother William James Lancaster. Lillian became a noted artist herself and Dora married Edmund Thomas Wyatt Ware, a noted sculptor. Provenance: manuscript presentation on the half title stating ‘To Mis. Lancaster from her affectionate niece Lillian Lancaster August 1st. 1872’; private English collection. Barron http://barronmaps.com/lilian-lancaster-1852-1939/; Slowther, Catherine ‘The Map Collector’ no. 16 pp. 48-50.