NIMROD - [APPERLEY, Charles James (c. 1778-1843)]; and Henry ALKEN, illustrator
The Life of a Sportsman
London: Rudolph Ackermann, 1842. 8vo. (9 1/4 x 5 7/8 inches). vi, , 402pp. 36 hand-colored aquatint plates after Henry Alken (including frontispiece, title, and 4 plates mounted on plate paper). Plate at page 348 in the first state.
Full contemporary blue morocco by Zaensdorf, spine in six compartments with raised bands, decorated in gilt, all edges gilt, silk moire endpapers.
First edition, first issue.
Apperley's work, with illustrations by Alken, is "considered by many to be the premier coloured plate sporting book in the 19th century" (Tooley). Born in Wales to an English family, Charles J. Apperley was a sportsman and well-known sports writer. From 1813 to 1819, he was the agent for his brother-in-law's estates and around 1822, he "began writing for the Sporting Magazine. From his boyhood his ruling passions had been hunting, horse-riding, and horse management...Apperley's expert knowledge and social status made him an invaluable recruit to the sporting press of the time, and he may even be said to have created the role of gentleman hunting correspondent. Writing at first under various pseudonyms (Acastus, Eques, and A), he published his first article for the Sporting Magazine as Nimrod in January 1822 and he subsequently usually used that nom de plume. For five seasons, from 1824 to 1828, he was the magazine's official representative...Many of his articles were in serial form and were subsequently published as books, notably his 'Memoirs of the Life of John Mytton' (1837) and 'The Life of a Sportsman' (1842)... his ability and authority were unquestioned. He earned the respect of sportsmen everywhere not only for his skillful and fearless riding but also for the knowledge and judgment he displayed in his writings and for his unrivaled experience of the hunting world. As Nimrod he held a unique position in his day and left an imperishable memory in sporting history" (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography).
Schwerdt I, p. 36; Tooley 65; Podeschi 167; Siltzer p. 73.