THE DE COVERLEY ESSAYS, IN A BEAUTIFUL KELLIEGRAM MOROCCO-GILT BINDING FEATURING AN ELABORATE MULTI-COLOR MOROCCO COVER INLAY OF THE FICTIONAL SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY
STEELE, Richard and ADDISON, Joseph. Sir Roger De Coverley. Reprinted from The Spectator. London: Sampson Low, circa 1900. Square 12mo, contemporary full burgundy morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spine and covers, multi-color inlaid morocco cover illustration of Sir Roger de Coverley, raised bands, all edges gilt. $2200.
Later edition of one of the leading series by two of the most famous 18th-century British periodical essayists, with illustrations by Chas. O. Murray, beautifully bound in a morocco-gilt Kelliegram binding with a detailed multi-color morocco cover inlay of Sir Roger De Coverley.
“The periodical essay… reached its acme of achievement early in the 18th century in the work of Richard Steele and Joseph Addison.” Together, The Guardian, The Spectator and The Tatler “helped to form the taste and to shape the morals and manners of countless generations in Britain and abroad” (John Calhoun Stephens). Sir Roger de Coverley was one of Steele and Addison’s most noteworthy achievements. Created in The Spectator in 1711 by the writing team, Sir Roger de Coverley was said to be an English squire of Queen Anne’s reign. His name was immediately familiar to readers as it was also the name of a well-known English/Scottish country dance. The writers explained the coincidence by making de Coverley the great-grandson of the dance’s inventor. Sir Roger was intended to embody the values and display the mannerisms of an old country gentleman, which allowed his Tory politics to be portrayed as silly and outdated while the character himself remained beloved by the public. He swiftly became one of Steele and Addison’s most popular creations. With original covers bound in at rear.
A few spots of foxing to text, crease to front free endpaper, expert repair to front joint. A near-fine copy, beautifully bound.