The Adventures of a Bank-Note.

BRIDGES, Thomas (1771)

£1800.00  [First Edition]

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In Two Volumes [- In Four Volumes].First Edition. 4 vols. 8vo. Contemporary sheep, covers with gilt crest of the Longe family, spines with contemporary (but slightly later) gilt tooling and with black and green morocco labels (the labels on vol. 1 missing revealing a gilt number "J" in the third panel, which would probably predate the publication of vols. 3-4 in 1771 when the gilt tooling and labeling would have been added.London: for T. Davies, 1770 -

Rare. ESTC lists copies at British Library, The Lilly Library, Library Company of Philadelphia, UCLA.


Vols. 1-2 have ""In Two Volumes" on the title and vols. 3-4 have "In Four Volumes". Vols. 1-2 were reprinted in Dublin in 1771, and in London in the same year to accompany the first edition of vols. 3-4. The binding, which reveals an earlier volume number "J" under the missing label on vol. 1 is a witness to the reception of this novel first as a 2-volume work and then as a complete 4-volume set.

One of the classics of the so-called "it-narrative" or "speaking-object" genre, in which an inanimate object or an animal tells the story of its circulation through various hands, the most popular, perhaps, being Charles Johnstone's "Chrysal: or, the adventures of a guinea" (1760) and Francis Coventry's "Pompey the Little: or, the life and adventures of a lap-dog" (1751) which both went into numerous editions. Money was an obvious candidate for the rapidity of its circulation, like The Adventures of a Halfpenny: commonly called a Birmingham halfpenny, or counterfeit):

Provenance: Francis Longe, of Spixworth Park, Norfolk, with armorial bookplates and gilt crest on the covers.

Literature: Christopher Flint, "Speaking Objects: the circulation of stories in eighteenth-century prose fiction", in PMLA 113/2 (1998), pp. 212-226.

Stock Code: 62514

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