1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Egan, Pierce
EGAN, PIERCE (1772–1849), English sporting writer, was born in London in 1772. He began life as sporting reporter for the newspapers, and was soon recognized as the best of his day. In 1814 he wrote, set and printed a book about the relations of the prince regent (afterwards George IV.) and Miss Robinson, called The Mistress of Royalty, or the Loves of Florizel and Perdita. But his best-known work is Life in London, or Days and Nights of Jerry Hawthorne and his Elegant Friend Corinthian Tom (1821), a book describing the amusements of sporting men, with illustrations by Cruikshank. This book took the popular fancy and was one of Thackeray’s early favourites (see his Roundabout Papers). It was repeatedly imitated, and several dramatic versions were produced in London. A sequel containing more of country sports and misadventures probably suggested Dickens’s Pickwick Papers. In 1824 Pierce Egan’s Life in London and Sporting Guide was started, a weekly newspaper afterwards incorporated with Bell’s Life. Among his numerous other books are Boxiana (1818), Life of an Actor (1824), Book of Sports (1832), and the Pilgrims of the Thames (1838). Egan died at Pentonville on the 3rd of August 1849.
His son, Pierce Egan (1814–1880), illustrated his own and his father’s books, and wrote a score of novels of varying merit, of which The Snake in the Grass (1858) is perhaps the best.