Title: De mortuis nil nisi bona: being a series of ...
Publisher: London : H.F. Lynch & Co.
Publication Date: 1914
Book Condition: Very Good
Decorated red & black half title page. Title printed in red & black. 102 printed pages. 20 duotone plates. Top edges gilt. Foredge uncut. Endpapers in grey, with neat ownership stamps (one on front free endpaper, the other on the rear free endpaper) for "L.B. Goldstein. 92 Brick Lane, London E.1. Chartered Accountants". Red greek revival style head and tail pieces. 15.5 x 23 cm. Original grey cloth. Gilt lettering along spine, somewhat age-toned. Upper cover with gilt lettering on blue cloth panel with embossed gilt border. Bevelled edges. Covers richly patinated with handling. Highly amusing but technically exacting problems of inheritance taxation in 30 various situations, from a Justice of the Peace with a wooden leg, a Pig breeder whose prize sow died shortly after her owner, a man dying from a dog bite and a Curate marrying an heiress. Serious educational & accountancy problems but with a funny and memorable twist in each case. Reed (1860-1933) had been cartoonist for "Punch" for 23 years until 1912. From 1914 he was wearing himself and his pencil out in his country's service ("I was working simultaneously for the "Bystander", the "Passing Show", the "Sunday Times", "Pall Mall Gazette, "Sunday Evening Telegram", the "Evening Standard" and possibly one or two more"). Reed contributed 20 fantastically strong original drawings to this book of law & accountancy, even though he was so bad at personal finances that he once had the pleasure of getting his own back on Lloyd George, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, sending him a slightly mocking "Final Demand" for an unpaid cartoon drawing of the Chancellor. In the mid 1920's, Reed passed into illness & decline and lost his hard-made fortune on medical costs- no need to trouble the Exchequer with Inheritance Tax on his account, ironically. He said in his incomplete autobiography "Had I had the least business instinct I should now have been driving about in the latest model Bentley (and smoking a cigar like Lord Lonsdale's) instead of barking my shins and clinging to the handrail and to the simple faith in the power of a General omnibus to get through the traffic". WorldCat locates just one single copy at the British Library. This is a scarce book & appeals to caricature collector accountants, lawyers & humourists. Bookseller Inventory # 4382