London: Bradbury, Agnew and Co., n. d. c. 1890. With illustrations by John Leech, 13 of the full page plates have been hand coloured and are all present.
Royal octavo, three quarter red morocco, spines with raised bands, each compartment with gilt decoration relating to the sporting world, gilt lettering, red cloth, top edges gilt, green endpapers. Spine extremities a little rubbed, spines a tad darkened, interiors fine.
Handley Cross; or, Mr. Jorrocks's Hunt.  With illustrations by John Leech, 17 of the full page plates have been hand coloured.
"Hawbuck Grange:" or, The Sporting Adventures of Thomas Scott, Esq.  With illustrations by Phiz, eight of the full page plates have been hand coloured.
"Ask Mamma;" or, The Richest Commoner in England.  With illustrations by John Leech, 13 of the full page plates have been hand coloured.
"Plain or Ringlets?".  With illustrations by John Leech, 12 (of 13) of the full page plates have been hand coloured.
Mr. Romford's Hounds.  With illustrations by John Leech and H. K. Browne, 24 of the full page plates have been hand coloured.
Robert Smith Surtees (1803-1864) was born near Newcastle-on-Tyne, son of a country squire. He was educated and "articled" to become a lawyer, and eventually set up practice in Lincoln's Inn Fields in London. He practiced without great enthusiasm for several years. He began writing and contributed sporting articles to various magazine and in 1831 published a manual on the law relating to horses, The Horseman's Manual. In 1831 his older brother died and he became the heir, and he also started together with Rudolf Ackerman New Sporting Magazine of which he was the editor until the end of 1836. In 1837 he offered himself as a candidate for Parliament but withdrew before polling day. He had given up his practice as a lawyer and also his editorship by this time. His father died in 1838 and he succeeded to the Hamsterley estate and led the life of a country gentleman thereafter.
His desire to depict the sporting world he knew in words made him unusual, and the Jorrocks papers had won immediate popularity. The editor of the Quarterly Review had sent a message in 1832 and later wrote directly to Surtees asking to produce a "cousin" and "throw materials into light dramatic form." Most likely this encouragement led to the writing of Handley Cross which appeared in New Sporting Magazine during 1838 and 1839.
Tooley said: ".. no finer series of Sporting Novels exists in the English language. As is so rarely the case in colour plate books, the text is as important as the illustrations" . [Tooley 476].