THE TOURS OF DOCTOR SYNTAX, by William Combe - 1813 [1st Ed; 2 Vols]


Create Wishlist


The Tour of Doctor Syntax in Search of the Picturesque and

The Second Tour of Doctor Syntax in Search of Consolation

by William Combe

illustrated by Thomas Rowlandson

VOLUME 2 IS FIRST EDITION, Vol 1 is 5th Ed, possibly missing plate #4. London: R. Ackermann's Repository of Arts, 1813-1820. 

Hardbacks are overall in GOOD- condition.

  • Antiquarian binding features leather boards, and title blocks with gilt lettering and 4 raised bands on spines. Volume 2 features lovely colored marble design on pastedowns. Volumes feature hand-colored plates.
  • Both front covers are detached.
  • Covers display pronounced commensurate aging and wear, with overall rubbing and some cracking to leather, as well as exposed boards at corners, some more than others.
  • Some corners are rounded by extreme wear. 
  • Volume 1:
    • plate #4 might be missing;
    • foot end of spine has a chip;
    • several pages of text show some damage, with tears mended with transparent and opaque tape; page 8 has tape along fore edge, and page 90 has a large 3" x 3", (square) chip to upper corner; page 168 is torn with more than half of page missing. (See photos) 
  • Volume 2: 
    • upper back corner shows a hard bump;
    • title page and introduction are detached from textblock with front cover, to which it hangs by a thread; endpaper and frontis are secured to front cover;
    • all plates complete.
  • Spines display some rubbing and chipping to ends. 
  • Binding is fragile in both volumes. Binding is intact at gutter with the exception of hinges. (See photos)
  • Illustrations are overall well preserved with vibrant colors. Plates show occasional damage, with foxing and some staining going into colors. 
  • Interior exhibits commensurate toning with overall foxing and staining, as well as some damp staining. 
  • Inside pages are free of writing and intentional marks.
  • Text block edges display commensurate aging.
  • Book may exhibit additional minor signs of age or wear.
  • SC20190911

270 (vol 1) pgs + 277 (vol 2) pgs. 6.25 x 9.25 inches.

Both volumes feature antiquarian leather binding with gilt on spines and hand-colored illustrations.

The adventures of Doctor Syntax as he seeks first the picturesque, and then consolation, are entertaining and funny, and reveal some valuable lessons about fortune and the ways of fate. Written in elegant verse, this is a remarkable bit of poetry, filled with adventure and a satirical view of aesthetic ideals and its pompous followers, in an overall moralizing tone.

William Combe (1742-1823) was a British miscellaneous writer, who begun his life as an adventurer, ending it within the "rules" of the King Bench's prison. The comic poem The Three Tours of Doctor Syntax is the work for which he is chiefly remembered, together with a series of imaginary letters supposed to have been written by the second Lord Lyttelton, and his hacking talents. He also wrote the letterpress for various illustrated books. 

Features the hand-colored illustrations of Thomas Rowlandson. Volume 1 features 29 plates with one possibly missing. Volume 2 features 24 plates.

Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827) was an English artist and caricaturist of the Georgian era, known for his political satire and social observation. He also wrote satirical verse under the pen name of Peter Pindar. His aquatints were the inspiration for William Combe's The Three Tours of Doctor Syntax.

EDITION POINTS: Volume 1 is Fifth Edition. Volume 2 is First Edition.

AS IS! Please see photos. More photos available upon request.

International first class shipping includes a handling charge to cover insurance.

Domestic orders over $250 include a handling charge to cover signature confirmation.

#panoplybooks #rarebooks #bookboutique #collectiblebooks #antiquebooks #vintagebooks #bookstore

We invite you to view our Shipping & Returns policies, or to contact us with any questions.

Shipping: Shipping rate calculated at checkout


leave a review