Publisher: London: John Murray, 1864.
Edition: First edition.
Bibliographical References: Gimbell, Dickens, B288.
Condition: Cloth a little faded and worn at the edges; very good copy. An uncommon book in the trade.
Book ID: 28467
Description8vo, original purple cloth, gilt rules and lettering.
CommentsIn 1863, Michael T. Bass (1799-1884), a member of Parliament and a famously successful brewer of beer, introduced legislation in the House of Commons to regulate street musicians and organ grinders in particular. His bill was not voted on, but it received a lot deal of attention in the press, and correspondence endorsing his cause began pouring in from scores of Londoners who were ”sufferers from street music – the great street nuisance.” The response was so great that Bass compiled this small volume, which contains an analysis of the current law and the proposals for improved regulation, with a selection of letters he received and editorials from newspapers. Among those who wrote were Mark Lemon, editor of Punch, who appealed on behalf of his illustrator, John Leech, whose health and income were adversely effected by the loud and constant racket; and Charles Dickens wrote on behalf of 27 other notables, including Tennyson, Holman Hunt, Wilkie Collins and Thomas Carlyle, who were “daily interrupted , harassed, worried, wearied, driven nearly mad, by street musicians . . . the brazen performers on brazen instruments, beaters of drums, grinders of organs, bangers of banjos, clashers of cymbals, worriers of fiddles and bellowers of ballads.”.