Item #64566 The memoirs of James Hardy Vaux. Written by himself. James Hardy Vaux.
The memoirs of James Hardy Vaux. Written by himself

The first dictionary of underworld cant to emanate from Australia

The memoirs of James Hardy Vaux. Written by himself

London: printed by W. Clowes, Northumberland-Court, Strand; and sold by all respectable booksellers, 1819. First edition, 2 volumes, 12mo, pp. xx, 247, [1]; vii, [1], 227, [1]; bound without half-titles in contemporary half blue morocco over marbled boards, gilt-decorated spine in 5 compartments, gilt-lettered direct in 1, t.e.g.; lightly rubbed; very good and sound. With the bookplate and ownership stamps on flyleaves of Rupert Clarke. Vaux was a notorious pickpocket and swindler who flourished in the early nineteenth century, and who was transported to Australia on three different occasions. His memoirs contain descriptions of the London underworld and penal settlement in Australia under Governors King and Macquarie. At the back of volume II is an 80-page "A New and Comprehensive Vocabulary of the Flash Language, compiled and written by James Hardy Vaux." "First edition of a fascinating convict autobiography, the first full-length autobiography written in Australia. The final 75 pages of the second volume contain Vaux’s celebrated “Vocabulary of the Flash Language”, the first dictionary of underworld cant to emanate from Australia" (Australian Book Auctions). Ferguson, 770 where it is miscollated. Item #64566

Price: $2,200.00

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