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Sydney Revels (The Eighteen-Fifties) of Bacchus, Cupid, and Momus by Charles Adam Corbyn

Sydney Revels (The Eighteen-Fifties) of Bacchus, Cupid, and Momus by Charles Adam Corbyn

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Sydney Revels (The Eighteen-Fifties) of Bacchus, Cupid, and Momus

Being choice and humorous selections from scenes at The Sydney Police Office, and other public places during the last three years

by Charles Adam Corbyn

Presented by Cyril Pearl

Ure Smith, 1970, [First Edition],  ISBN 725400005,  black and white and two-tone illustrations in text, illustrated endpapers, illustrated title page, hardcover, dustjacket

Very Good Condition, a little edge and shelf wear, a little rubbing and bumping to edges and corners, no inscriptions, price-clipped dustjacket shows some edge and shelf wear with some rubbing, bumping, chipping, creasing and small tears, jacket shows some soiling and discolouration (see photographs)

“Here is a lusty, Hogarthian picture of life in the Sydney of the 1850s – a dirty, intimate, hard-drinking, evil smelling town of no more than 75,000 people and no less than 400 pubs.  Swaggering gold-diggers and staggering drunks, brawling housewives and brazen harlots, pickpockets and publicans, cabbies and constables, soldiers and sailors, mistresses and maids, speak to us here in their own vivid words, faithfully preserved by Charles Adam Corbyn, a police court reporter of the day.
Corbyn, who made this collection of his own court reports, was magnificently uninhibited.  He could describe a magistrate as “Mr. Vinegar-cruet” or write, “Mr. Ninivan Stewart is a long-nosed, lank-jawed hypocritical-looking shoe-maker.” He could say a citizen had a head “like a prize cabbage,” or a face “like an oatmeal cake,” or eyes “like two burnt holes in a blanket.”
Corbyn’s book, first published in 1854, has long been a collector’s item.  Cyril Pearl introduces this new edition with a penetrating survey of the Sydney Corbyn lived in.  Frank Broadhurst supplements the contemporary illustrations with is spirited period drawings.”


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