WITH BEAUTIFUL FOLIO HAND-COLORED AQUATINTS OF THE CORONATION OF GEORGE IV AND THE DEPARTURE OF QUEEN CAROLINE FROM THE HOUSE OF LORDS
BOWYER, Robert, publisher. An Impartial Historical Narrative of those Momentous Events Which Have Taken Place in This Country During the Period from the Year 1816 to 1823. London: Robert Bowyer, 1823. Large folio (16 by 21 inches), early 20th-century three-quarter red morocco gilt, marbled endpapers. $2700.
First and only edition of this contemporary illustrated account of the tumultuous adultery investigation of Queen Caroline and the subsequent Coronation of George IV. With eight large folio engravings, six marked “proof impression,” three of which are lovely, large, hand-colored aquatints depicting the arrival of the Queen at Brandenburgh, the Queen returning from the House of Lords, and the lavish Coronation of George IV. Scarce.
Queen Caroline was always a favorite of the people; Jane Austen wrote of her, "Poor woman, I shall support her as long as I can, because she is a Woman and because I hate her Husband" (Robins, Rebel Queen, 42). Caroline's return to England after her long exile in Italy provoked a mutiny and protests against her unpopular husband, George IV. On the death of George III, her husband determined to obtain a divorce, which at the time required admission or proof of adultery. This "impartial" history recounts the investigation, the Queen's return to stand trial in the House of Lords, and the subsequent coronation of George IV, which the Queen was forcibly prevented from attending. She died only three weeks later, amid rumors that she had been poisoned. In addition to the three hand-colored engravings mentioned, this lavish history includes an engraving of the interior of the House of Lords during the important investigation of 1820, two engraved sheets of facsimiles of 258 signatures of members of the royal family and those peers who voted during the investigation, an engraved tribute to George III, and an engraved frontispiece that serves as key to the other plates and includes a view of the Queen's Villa d'Este on Lake Como in Italy. Abbey, Scenery 259. Tooley 99. Prideaux, 328.
Handsome binding rubbed at extremities. Frontispiece mounted. Text and plates clean and fine. A near-fine copy of this scarce and lovely work.