WITH POCHOIR HANDCOLOURING
BAWDEN, Edward (illustrator). Robert PALTOCK (author). The Life And Adventures of Peter Wilkins. London, J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd. 1928.
4to. Original royal blue cloth decorated and lettered in gilt to upper board, top edges olivine, in pictorial dustwrapper; pp. xxiv + [iv] + 342; with 40 striking illustrations by Bawden including 17 plates handcoloured through stencils (4 of these double-page); externally near fine with tiny bruising to one forecorner tip and faint speckling to edges of book block, internally fresh throughout save the usual offset-toning to free endpapers, protected by a worn, but largely complete, example of the price-clipped dustwrapper which has overall toning, dusting, and rubbing, light marking to lower panel, a long diagonal closed tear to lower panel, splitting to joint folds, and some short edge tears, all neatly paper-repaired to the reverse, with some loss to spine ends to a maximum depth of 2.5cm; scarce in dustwrapper.
First edition illustrated by Bawden; first published in 1750. A wild fantasy in the 'lost world' tradition which tells the adventures of Wilkins, a Cornishman. Inspired by Gulliver's Travels (1726). Paltock's protagonist survives a series of disasters including being captured by the French and sold into African slavery, being attacked by crocodiles and lions on his escape, and becoming grounded on a rock in Antarctica on a stolen Portuguese vessel. He manages to survive there for months, in true Robinson Crusoe-fashion, before being sucked via an underground cavern to the beautiful island of Graundevolet where he meets Youwarkee, the woman of his dreams, who fortunately has the power of flight. The only English journal to assess it on publication, Monthly Review, described it as "a very strange performance indeed". It languished in obscurity until the nineteenth century when the romantic poets Coleridge and Shelley rediscovered its utopian flair.