First edition, first printing. All 52 issues for 1829 bound as one. Quarter calf over paper covered boards. Each issue illustrated with a wonderful front page woodcut, many depicting sensational scenes of vampires, pirates and spectres, a few hand coloured. An acceptable copy, the binding with the front board almost detached, cracking to the hinges, some splitting to the spine, loss to the paper covering the boards and wear to the extremities. The shaken contents lacking one text page (pp.147-48) and a front endpaper and with a three inch tear to one text page, a few others with short tears, foxing and marking, and some roughness to the edges of some gatherings. Nevertheless, a decent copy of an extremely scarce periodical.

Running between 1827 and 1831, The Casket contained articles on travel, history and current affairs, all with a view to the entertaining and the humorous. Its central feature, however, was its series of sensationalist 'penny dreadful' type stories concerning true murders, brigands and supernatural phenomena. The present volume contains a typical selection of tales, including: "The Vampires of London!", "The Serpents of Java", "The Witch of Marly", "The Magic Mirror", "The Dwarf of the Nine Mountains", and "The Spectre Pirate!", amongst many others. One issue notably provides a dramatic narration and depiction of the contemporary Edinburgh murders committed by the infamous Burke and Hare. Another includes two plans and a description of the proposed construction of New London Bridge, whilst several others indicate the journal's lean towards radical politics, incorporating a number of articles addressed to the labouring classes regarding the co-operative movement, as well as entreaties and the organisation of a collection on behalf of the "starving Spitalfields weavers". Only two listed in Copac (BL & Aberdeen). Provenance: from the library of Martin Stone.

Stock code: 17526


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