The Tour of Doctor Syntax – William Combe 1912 | 1st Edition


  • Author: William Combe; Thomas Rowlandson Illustrator
  • Publisher: R. Ackermann, London, [1812]
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Condition: Fair
  • Size: 8vo
  • Attributes: First Edition

First edition, first printing. Rebound in cloth, early 20th century. Binding tight, two leaves loose, unfortunately, all the color illustrations by Thomas Rowlandson have been removed from the book. Fair.

William Combe’s The Tour of Doctor Syntax in search of the picturesque was begun in 1809 and published in book form in 1812. Together with the accompanying aquatints by Thomas Rowlandson that inspired the poem, it satirises the aesthetic ideals lying behind the picturesque and its frequently pompous followers. The poem tells how Dr Syntax, a curate, sets off in search of the ideal picturesque landscape only to be continually thwarted by bathetic and farcical inconveniences. During the course of the poem the unfortunate Dr Syntax stumbles into a lake while attempting to reach the perfect location from which to sketch a suitably ruined castle, is chased by a bull and driven to distraction by the incessant bleating of sheep.

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