Horace Walpole's Cat by Christopher Frayling 2009 - Signed First Edition
With 32 illustrations, 15 in colour, by William Blake, Richard Bentley and Kathleen Hale. Signed with dedication by Christopher Frayling to the pre-title page. Decorative boards. A little rubbing and a tiny tear to the top of the jacket and a small mark to outer page edges, otherwise both book and jacket in near fine condition.
- Publisher: Thames & Hudson, London
- Year of Publication: 2009
- Illustrator: Richard Bentley, William Blake and Kathleen Hale
- Special Attributes: Signed First Edition
- Pages: 79pp
- Size: 13" X 10"
- ISBN: 9780500514917
One day in February 1747 Horace Walpole's cat Selima fell into a large Chinese porcelain goldfish tub and drowned. Walpole was naturally upset and his close friend Thomas Gray wrote and elegy to console him. The 'Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fish' is one of the most perfect, and best loved, poems in the English language, and it conferred immortality upon the unfortunate Selima. Christopher Frayling has made her fate the focus of a piece of literary research that involves Walpole himself, Thomas Gray, Richard Bentley, Dr Johnson, Jean-Jacques Russeau and Christopher Smart, James Boswell, William Blake and finally Kathleen Hale. All contribute to this book of charm and erudition lightly worn, that adds seriously to our appreciation and enjoyment of 18th-century manners, and our understanding of people and their household animals.