Mr. Sponge’s Sporting Tour


Some images from Mr. Sponge’s Sporting Tour by Robert Smith Surtees (1805 – 1864) and illustrated by John Leech (New York, Stringer and Townsend, 1856). Surtee used the pseudonym Frank Forester for some editions, but in this case the book was anonymous.

[picture: One of Multum in Parvo's “going” days.]

One of Multum in Parvo’s “going” days.

Parvo here is a rather strong-willed horse...We see the horse leaping past the hunting-dogs. The man riding the horse is a “toff” or country gentleman of the [...] [more...] [$]

[picture: W with two horses and riders]

W with two horses and riders

A decorative initial letter “W” with the W made from four fence-posts or tree-trunks, and with two men wearing hats, each riding a horse about to pass through one or other half of the letter. This illustrating was used as an eighteen-line drop cap in the book, and is suitable or accompanying text on horse-riding, [...] [more...] [$]

[picture: A Day With Puffington's Hounds]

A Day With Puffington’s Hounds

A happy hunter beams as he holds up a dead rabbit. The rabbit doesn’t look happy. Men in red coats, white trousers and riding hats, horses, dogs. [more...] [$]

[picture: Initial letter T with upturned book and horse-rider on quill pen]

Initial letter T with upturned book and horse-rider on quill pen

In this vignetted decorative initial a man wears a top hat and rides a “horse” made from a quill (feather) pen towards an upturned book, laying with the pages partly open and the spine uppermost as if set down by a careless reader, with a giant capital letter “T” in the background. Perhaps the rider is imagined by the reader, or by the writer. [...] [more...] [$]

[picture: Letter T with Book]

Letter T with Book

An initial letter T with a book, pages open, spine upwards, as if just set down by a careless reader. [more...] [$]