The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XIV. The Victorian Age, Part Two.

VI. Caricature and the Literature of Sport

§ 8. The Microcosm of London

In antiquarian works, again, literature owed much to the needs of engraving. Pyne and Combe together wrote the text of Ackermann’s important publications, the histories of Westminster Abbey, of The University of Oxford and of The University of Cambridge. Rowlandson and Combe were, again, together connected with one of Ackermann’s most interesting and valuable works, The Microcosm of London, which was issued, in and after 1808, in three volumes. In the many coloured plates that illustrate, or constitute, this work, the figures were drawn by Rowlandson, and the architecture by Augustus Charles Pugin, while the text was written by William Combe. The work is concerned not only with the antiquities of London, but with its contemporary life. It takes in Astley’s and the Royal Cockpit, as well as the Charterhouse and Westminster abbey, and to this day remains full of information and interest.