The 'Legends' are a collection of myths, legends, ghost stories and poetry written supposedly by 'Thomas Ingoldsby of Tappington Manor', (pen-name of an English clergyman, Richard Harris Barham). They first appeared during 1837 as a regular series in the magazine 'Bentley's Miscellany' and later in 'New Monthly Magazine', and were variously illustrated by John Leech, George Cruikshank, and Sir John Tenniel. They proved immensely popular and were published as books by Richard Bentley, running into many editions. They remained popular during the 19th century but have since become little known, 'The Jackdaw of Rheims' being perhaps the most often quoted.
Richard Harris Barham (1788-1845) was born in Canterbury, ordained in 1813, and accepted a country curacy;after his marriage, he was in 1821 appointed a minor canon of St. Paul's Cathedral in London. Three years later he became one of the 'priests in ordinary' of the King's Chapel Royal. Apart from the 'Ingoldsby Legends', he also wrote one novel, and articles for various other publications.
Our book is a very handsome edition, bound in dark red leather with stamped design on both covers & spine and the title in gilt on the front & spine. The cover shows signs of wear (on spine bands, down the spine angles, at the corners and all edges), but there is no loss. The marbled endpapers are bright, and the inner cover edges are also stamped with three lines. All page edges are gilt, and the red ribbon marker is present and intact. There is light foxing on the long page edges, tanning to the front and back free pages, and some light brown stains on some pages in the main text block. The original owner's name is inscribed on the flyleaf. The binding is firm, and the text throughout clear and bright with no markings. There are numerous B&W illustrations. A very collectible volume.