University of Chicago Library

Guide to George Manning, Adventures of a Half Guinea. Manuscript, 1823

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Descriptive Summary


Manning, George, Adventures of a Half Guinea. Manuscript (Ms 626)



Manuscript Number:

Codex Ms 626


1 volume; 41 x 27 cm.


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


The author's draft of an unfinished and unpublished novel. Codex Ms 626.

Information on Use


The manuscript is open for research.

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When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Manning, George, Adventures of a Half Guinea. Manuscript, Codex Ms 626, Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Scope Note

At the end of the satirical opening dedication, "To John Doe and Richard Roe," the author signed his name and indicated the time and place of composition: "63 Edgeware Road/Decr 1823." The printed parish records of St. George's Church, Hanover Square, which is in the vicinity of Edgeware Road, London, list a George Manning, who in November 1829 received a license to marry Anna Heurtley. This is probably the George Manning who wrote this text, but nothing more is known about him. Manning suggests in the preface that he is employed in the legal profession, perhaps as a clerk or secretary.

Adventures of a Half Guinea is modeled on Charles Johnstone's Chrysal; or, the Adventures of a Guinea which appeared in four volumes from 1760 to 1765, and was reprinted several times. Chrysal featured a gold guinea coin as "narrator" of several satirical tales of how it passed from the pockets of one greedy man to another.

The Manning work is a rough draft, in the author's hand, with many corrections and erasures. It is very incomplete, with parts out of sequence. Either Manning did not finish these chapters, or we do not have all that he wrote.

Folio, 41 x 26 cm.

126 leaves, fully foliated in pencil. An older foliation in ink runs as follows: 18-72, 308-309, 197-225, which correspond to the penciled foliation of 34-72, 90-91, and 96-124. Presumably leaves formerly numbered 73-196 and 226-307 are missing.

Modern blue-cloth binding of the University f Chicago Library. (T. Bentley Duncan, 1973)

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Volume 1

Codex Ms 626

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