Selected plates

  • Entire book
CROWQUILL, Alfred [pseudonym for Alfred Forrester]
How He Reigned and How He Mizzled. A Railway Raillery by Alfred Crowquill Delt. [i.e. Forrester]
London: J. Harwood, Fenchurch St. 1849.
FIRST EDITION. Oblong 8vo with 8 lithographed leaves printed on rectos; modern red morocco backed boards preserving original decorated buff wrappers. A fine example of this satirical engraved strip cartoon by Forrester (alias Alfred Crowquill) depicting the rise and downfall of the the famous railway tycoon George Hudson. George Hudson (1800-1871) known famously as 'The Railway King', was through his very questionable accounting practices seen as the supreme strategist and financial genius behind the formative years of railway expansion. In 1844 he masterminded the formation of the 'Midland Railway Company' which had for its time a tremendous capital of £5 million. Hudson was always very plausible at shareholders meetings and quite brilliantly able to explain away such actions as the unauthorised increase in authorised shares when amalgamating two Newcastle Railways for his own personal benefit - the transaction never appearing in the account-books! He often received from grateful directorial boards of other railways large presents of shares and was certainly not above enriching his close personal friends with early information and allotment of shares. In 1849 however as sitting Tory MP for Sunderland and having become the favoured house guest of the influential and famous he came 'Off the Rails' as the Punch cartoon of the day had it and suddenly as the great railway mania collapsed so did it bring down 'The Railway King'. Although fallen from grace, and his reputation severely tarnished, Hudson was nevertheless far from abandoned, in fact he was being given financial support by his 'grateful' friends to help him in his hour of need. A fascinating work in good condition.

Coloured plates in order:

1. He studies the thing ! / He resolves and leaves his old 'ooman to look after the shop ! / He sees how a great deal of the Railway business may be kept in the dark.
2. He shuts & cuts the shop / His success makes him jump for joy / He speaks in Public !!! / Every one will walk with him.
3. He takes cold ! the world rushes to the Bulletin / He passes the end of the street !!! / A person before He has nodded to him / After He has nodded to him !!!.
4. He squeezes the hand of Aristocracy (?) / He pretends to explain all for a Bob !! ?? / An Iron Duke goes the (Chemin de Fer).
5. He shows the Queen how to manage a Train / He does an extraordinary number of Lines !! / He is crowned !! The world at his feet.
6. They give him a House ! As a testimonial of his being a brick / He gives Soirees ! (who goes) ? Oh dear ! Oh dear !! /
His card Basket.
7. The way he keeps his accounts / The Boards meet. Some doubt about the Ass-ets / He explains thus !!!
8. He is Telegraphed for - It is stopped by the breeches pocket / Public confidence is shaken. "Small profits but quick returns" / The Fiend deserts him !
OCLC: 12414141
Hand coloured plates
British Isles, Caricatures, History - England
Stock ID