Sala.   George Augustus     - With a brief note signed by G.A. Sala
The Thorough Good Cook
FIRST AND SOLE ENGLISH EDITION. 210x172mm. Paste-down and fep in designed paper. On verso of fep: a tipped-in note on Reform Club embossed paper stating "Reform Club: Thursday. Dr Sir a line to say that I shall be duly with you a little before 8. Faithfully Yours G.A. Sala. (underlined) The Rev. T. Shore." Half Title. Verso advertisement for Sala's books. Title Page. Verso with a small illustrated device titled 'Belle Sauvage'. (1)vi-viii Preface 1. (1)x-xiii Preface 11. (1)xv-xvii Preface 111. 2p Contents. [1] (1)2-467. [1] (1)470-492 Index. Fep and paste-down in designed paper. The fine tooled and embossed original cover with gilt still in very good condition but the spine and the back edge of covers are sunned. All edges gilt. Internally very clean and in very good condition. An uncommon book especially with the autographed note.
- George Augustus Sala, (see 1st photo below) the youngest son of Augustus Sala (1792-1828) and Henrietta Simon (1789-1860), was born on 24th November, 1828. After the death of his father, George's mother supported herself and five surviving children by teaching singing and giving annual concerts in London and Brighton. Educated at the Pestalozzian school at Turnham Green, Sala left at fifteen to become a clerk. Later he found work drawing railway plans during the Railway Mania of 1845. A talented artist, Sala also worked as a scene-painter at the Lyceum Theatre and in 1848 was commissioned to illustrate Albert Smith's 'The Man in the Moon'. This was followed by an illustrated guidebook for foreign tourists that was published by Rudolf Ackermann. Other work included prints of the Great Exhibition and the funeral of the Duke of Wellington. Sala was also interested in becoming a journalist and in 1851 Charles Dickens accepted his article, 'The Key of the Street', for his journal, 'Household Words'. This was the first of many of Sala's articles that Dickens published over the next few years. In April, 1856, Dickens sent Sala to Russia as the journal's special correspondent. He also contributed to the author's next venture, 'All the Year Round' and other journals such as the 'London Illustrated News', 'Punch Magazine' and 'Cornhill Magazine'. In 1857, Sala began writing for the 'Daily Telegraph'. For the next twenty-five years he contributed an average of ten articles a week. Although paid 2,000 a year for his work, Sala, who was an avid collector of rare books and expensive china, was always in debt. Sala loved traveling and in 1863 accepted the offer of becoming the Telegraph's foreign correspondent. Over the next few years he reported on wars and uprisings all over the world. During the Franco-German War he was arrested in Paris as a spy but was eventually released from prison. He wrote several books based on his travels including 'From Waterloo to the Peninsula' (1867), 'Rome and Venice' (1869), 'Paris' (1880), 'America Revisited' (1882), 'A Journey Due South' (1885) and 'Right Round the World' (1888). After leaving the Daily Telegraph Sala moved to Brighton where he attempted to start his own periodical, 'Sala's Journal'. The venture failed and left him deeply in debt and in early 1895 he was forced to sell his large library of 13,000 books. George Augustus Sala died at Brighton on 8th December, 1895. In an email I received from Linda Gifkins, she kindly informed me of a hitherto unknown edition of 'The Thorough Good Cook' printed by Brentano's - New York, Chicago, Paris, & Washington in 1896. Sala was twice married. His first wife, Harriet, whom he married in September 1859, died at Melbourne in December 1885. In 1891 he married a second wife, Bessie, third daughter of Robert Stannard, C.E., who survived him. Sala was a great friend of Alexis Soyer and was a member of the Reform Club whilst Soyer was the Chef de Cuisine there.

click on image to enlarge

Antiquarian category
ref number: 11144