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Life in London Pierce Egan

Life in London By Pierce Egan


Published in 1821, this book of satirical stories was one of the bestsellers of its time. It describes the riotous adventures of Corinthian Tom and Jerry Hawthorne ('Tom and Jerry') in Regency London. It was also adapted into a number of successful plays that delighted audiences in Britain and America.

Life in London Summary

Life in London: Or, The Day and Night Scenes of Jerry Hawthorne, Esq., and his Elegant Friend Corinthian Tom, Accompanied by Bob Logic, the Oxonian, in their Rambles and Sprees through the Metropolis by Pierce Egan

Pierce Egan (1772-1849) was born near London and lived in the area his whole life. He was a famous sports reporter and writer on popular culture. His first book, Boxiana, was a collection of articles about boxing. It was a huge success and established Egan's reputation for wit and sporting knowledge. He is probably best remembered today as the creator of Corinthian Tom and Jerry Hawthorn ('Tom and Jerry'). Published in 1821 and beautifully illustrated by the Cruikshank brothers, this book is the original collection of Tom and Jerry's riotous adventures through Regency London. Its satirical humour and trademark use of current slang made it an overnight success, spawning many imitators and appearing in numerous editions. It was translated into French and inspired a number of successful stage plays that delighted audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. More recently, in 2006, an adaptation appeared on BBC Radio.

Table of Contents

Dedication; Book I. Showing as Much of the Varieties of Life as May Be Necessary, in Order to Point Out the Advantages Resulting from a Knowledge of the Numerous Classes of Society, upon the Mind of the Reader, by Way of Preface, or a Prelude to the Work: 1. Or, rather, 'an invocation'; scarcely important enough to be denomination a chapter, yet, nevertheless, thought expedient; 2. A camera obscura view of the metropolis, with the light and shade attached to 'seeing life'; 3. A short sketch of the author's talents in taking a likeness; or, in other words, (and perhaps far more appropriate,) a pen-and-ink drawing of Corinthian Tom; 4. The great advantages resulting from a man's father being 'born' before him, illustrated with some curious facts; and also pointing out that a true knowledge of the world is gained only by conversation, and that the manners of every rank must be seen in order to be known; 5. Corinthian Tom's unceasing anxiety to mix with the world uncontrolled. His acquaintance with young Logic, an Oxonian. Character of the latter. Death of Tom's parents; 6. A word or two respecting 'architects of their own fortunes.' Tom out of his leading-strings. Poetic invocation to the pleasures of life. His hurried entrance into all classes of society. A few additional touches of the author towards finishing Tom's likeness. The impression Tom made upon the Town. Acquirement of his title. A slight glance at Tom's choice of a female - Corinthian Kate; 7. Corinthian Tom's excesses render rustication necessary. A visit to Hawthorn Hall. Jerry Hawthorn's introduction to Tom. Character of the latter. A day's sporting. A jollification at Hawthorn-Hall; Tom's descriptive Song of the Metropolis. Jerry's arrival in London; Book II. On the Difference between What is Generally Termed 'Knowing the World' and 'Seeing Life': 1. Jerry an inmate of Corinthian-House - its taste and elegance described. Useful hints from Tom to Jerry. The latter in training to become a Swell. His introduction to Bob Logic. A ride in Rotten Row; 2. Tom and Jerry visit the Playhouses. A stroll through the Saloon of Covent Garden Theatre. Taking 'Blue Ruin' at the 'Sluicery' after the 'spell is broken up'. A peep into a coffee-shop at midnight. Tom and Jerry in 'trouble' after a 'spree'. A night charge at Bow Street Office; with other matters worth knowing, respecting the unfortunate Cyprian, the feeling Coachman, and the generous magistrate; 3. Tom and Jerry at a Masquerade Supper at the Opera House. An assignation. A lounge in Bond Street. A visit to Mr. Jackson's rooms. Tom, Logic, and Jerry, call upon the Champion of England, to view his Parlour and the silver cup. A turn into the Westminster Pit, to sport their blunt on the Phenomenon Monkey. Finishing the evening, and 'getting the best of a Charley'; 4. The contrast - country and town: evil communication corrupts good manners. A 'look-in' at Tattersall's. Gay moments; or, an introduction of Jerry and Logic by Tom to Corinthian Kate. Tom exhibits his knowledge of fencing in an 'assault' with Mr. O'Shaunessy. Kate and Sue caught upon the Sly, on their visit to the old fortune-teller, by Hawthorn and the Corinthian. The 'ne plus ultra of life in London'. A visit to Carlton Palace by Kate, Sue, Tom, Jerry, and Logic; 5. A short digression, in the shape of an apology, but not intended by way of an excuse, for persons witnessing 'life in London'. Peep-o'-Day Boys. A street-row. The author losing his 'reader'. Tom and Jerry 'showing fight', and logic floored. Honour among thieves. The pocket-book - a rich anecdote; The trio visit the Condemned Yard in Newgate. Symptoms of the 'finish of some sorts of life' in London. A glance at the Royal Exchange. Tom, Jerry, and Logic entering into the spirit of the lark, at All-Max, in the East. Invocation to politeness - a touch of the sublime! The contrast. Climax of 'L

Additional information

Life in London: Or, The Day and Night Scenes of Jerry Hawthorne, Esq., and his Elegant Friend Corinthian Tom, Accompanied by Bob Logic, the Oxonian, in their Rambles and Sprees through the Metropolis by Pierce Egan
Cambridge University Press
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