- Museum number
Reid 4983. An illustrated book entitled: 'The Bachelor's own book.' illustrated by George Cruikshank.In a brown, textile binding, lettered on the spine in gold 'G. Cruikshank- The bachelor's own book.'
Lettered on the title page: "The Bachelor's own book. Being twenty four passages in the life of Mr. Lambkin (Gent). By George Cruikshank." With the publisher's details at the foot of the page: "London D. Bogue, 86 Fleet Street."
Each page is divided into two illustrations, the story of a bachelor's pursuit of pleasure, with a short narrative text below each illustration.
An illustrated book with etched plates.
The plates are described and texts transcribed or paraphrased from GW Reid's 'Descriptive Catalogue of George Cruikshank's Works' (1871) as follows:
1. Reid 2287. 'Title to wrapper.' Mr Lambkin joyously following Pleasure, personified by a Genius with butterfly wings, who leads his victim by the nose, and supports a banner inscribed with the titles of various amusements, "Balls," "Plays" & c. Cruikshank's name on a banner, supported by two masks, in the foreground.
2. Reid 2288. 'The second title.' With the inscription as first transcribed and an illustrated border, showing phases in the career of Mr. Lambkin.
3. Reid 2289. Two subjects. The first: Mr Lambin having come into his property enters the world on the best terms with himself, and makes an admirable toilet. The second: Mr Lambkin sallies forth in the pride of power, with the secret purpose to "kill" a certain lady. An envious rival makes known his purpose by a placard [which reads: "Going a courting."] Plate 1.
4. Reid 2290. Two subjects. The first: Mr. Lambkin with a snug bachelor's party enjoying wine after a luxurious whitebair dinner at Blackwall, talking of his high connections. The second: Mr Lambkin suddenly feels poorly, something in the "whitebait dinner" has disagreed with him; probably the "water souchy," or that confounded melted butter (could'nt possibly be the wine.) His friends endeavour to relieve him with brandy and soda water. Plate 2.
5. Reid 2291. Two subjects. The first: Mr Lambkin having "cut" bachelor parties, determines to seek the pleasures of ladies' society. He and the lady of his affections joining a pic-nic, endeavours to amuse and makes himself "very ridiculous." The second: Mr Lambkin, at an evening party full of life and spirits (or wine), gives offence to the lady of his affections by philandering and ruins his fortunes by dancing a Polka with such violence as to upset poor old John, the coffee and the whole party. Plate 3.
6. Reid 2292. Two subjects. The first: Mr Lambkin overwhelmed with shame and vexation, resorts to Kensington Gardens, in the hope of meeting the lady of his affections. He burns with rage, jealousy and the desire for revenge on seeing her (with Muss Dash) in sprightly conversation with long Cornet- He feels literally "cut." The second: After meditating on desperate deeds of duelling, Prussic acids, pistols and plunges in the river. Mr Lambkin cools down with a quiet supper, a melancholy reverie, and has a warm bath in the Hummums. The morning sun shines upon him at Epsom, where, with the assistance of friends and champagne, he determines to live and die a bachelor. Plate 4.
7. Reid 2293. Two subjects. The first: Mr Lambkin visits all the theatres and saloons; makes his way to the stage and green room and is so fortunate as to be introduced to some "highly talented" members of the corps de ballet. The second, Mr Lambkin goes to a masquerade as Don Giovanni, a character which he supports perfectly. he falls in company with certain shepherdesses, who show their Arcadian manners by drinking porter from quart pewter pots. They are delighted with the Don, who with the porter adds champagne, which they drink with the same elegance as the beer. Plate 5.
8. Reid 2294. Two subjects. The first: Mr Lambkin ad friends, after supping at "the rooms," indulge in nocturnal amusements of gentlemen. The police officiously interfere with their passtime. Mr Lambkin, after evincing the courage of a lion, the strength of a bull, the sacagicity of a fox, the stubborness of a donkey, and the activity of a mountain cat, is overcome by a policeman Smith (A1). The second: Mr Lambkin and his friends appear before the magistrate. Their conduct is described as violent and outrageous, and their respectability is questioned. Mr Lambkin and his friends insist upon being gentlemen, and, of course are discharged upon payment of five shillings for each being drunk and making good to damage, at the rpices usually charged to gentlemen. Plate 6.
9. Reid 2295. The first: Mr Lambkin makes delightful acqaintances- the Hon. D. Swindelle and his delightful family, his Ma "such a delightful lady!"- and his sisters "such delightful girls!!" -such delightful musical parties, and such delightful soirées and such delightful card parties!-what is more dlightful, they are all highly delighted with Mr. Lambkin! The second: Mr Lambkin, in a moment of delight, puts his name to little bits of paper to oblige his very delightful friend the Hon. D. Swindelle, whom he afterwards discovers to be a blackleg. He is invited to visit some of the chambers in the small Inns of Court, where he finds himself at the mercy of Messrs. Ogre and Nippers, whose demands make an awful gap in his cheque book. Plate 7.
10. Reid 2296. The first: Mr Lambkin, finding that he has been thoroughly fooled, foolishly dashes into dissipation to drown his thought. He joins jovial society and sings "The right end of life is to live and be jolly!" The second: Mr Lambkin's habits grow worse and worse! At three o'clock a.m. he is placed upright (very jolly) against his own door by a kind-hearted cabman. Plate 8.
11. Reid 2297. Two subjects. The first: Mr Lambkin finds that he has been going too fast in pursuit of pleasure, and as he can go no farther, comes to a stand-still. Being very ill, he sends for a medical friend who feels his pulse, shakes his head at the appearance of his tongue, and presecribes remedies. The second: Mr Lambkin has to be nursed, and to go through a course of medicine taking many a bitter pill and requiring all the persuasive powers of Mrs Slops to take "regular doses" of that "horrid nasty stuff." Plate 9.
12. Reid 2298. Two subjects. The first: Mr Lambkin being tired of the old fashioned regular practice and being so fortunate as to live in the days when the real properties of water are discovered, places himself under a disciple of the immortal Priessnitz. The second: Mr Lambkin buys a regular hard trotter, and combines the health-restoring exercise of riding with the great advantages of wet swaddling clothes. Plate 10.
13. Reid 2299. Two subjects. The first: Mr Lambkin's confidence in the curative powers of hydropathy being much damped and being himself soaked- in fact, almost wahed away- follows the old fashioned practice of waking early in the morning and drinking "new milk from the cow." The second: Mr Lambkin being quite recovered, with the aid of new milk and sea breezes, determines to reform, feels buried alive at the Grand Mausoleum Club; and contemplating an old bachelor member who pores over the newspaper all day, feels horros struck at the possibility of such a fate for himself and determines to seek a reconcilation with the lady of his affections. Plate 11.
14. Reid 2300. The first: Mr Lambkin writes a repentant letter. The lady answers. He seeks an interview. It is granted. He hopes she'll "forgive him this time." The lady appears resolute. He earnestly entreats her to "make it up." At length the lady softens. She lays aside her "cruel" work- ah! she weeps! Silly little thing, what does she cry for? Mr Lambkin is forgiven! He skips for joy! Pa and Ma consent. The second: And now let Mr Lambkin speak for himself. "Ladies and Gentlemen. unaccustomed as I am .... Wishing you all the happiness this world can afford (Bravo!) I shall conclude in the words of our immortal bard. May the single be married and the (Hear! hear! hear! Bravo!) married happy. (Bravo! bravo! bravo!)
- Production date
Height: 137 millimetres (approx. page height)
Width: 225 millimetres (approx. page width)
- Curator's comments
- Description based on GW Reid: 'A descriptive catalogue of the works of George Cruikshank.' 1871.
Initially issued in yellow wrappers and not in book form. See Cohn, 192,
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number