THE UTOPIAN PLAN THAT INFLUENCED THE DESIGN OF ADELAIDE: BUCKINGHAM’S NATIONAL EVILS AND PRACTICAL REMEDIES
BUCKINGHAM, James S. National Evils and Practical Remedies, with the Plan of a Model Town. Accompanied by an Examination of Some Important Moral and Political Problems. London: Peter Jackson, . Octavo, original navy cloth. $1100.
First edition of Buckingham’s seminal treatise on urban planning, illustrated with two folding plates.
Few Englishmen of his age could lay claim to the unique skills and remarkable experiences of James Silk Buckingham. Buckingham first went to sea at the age of nine and at age ten was captured and held as a prisoner of war. On his return to England and after a brief career as a bookseller, Buckingham returned to the sea as a trader, traveling across the Mediterranean, through Egypt, Arabia and India. He survived shipwrecks, disease, and an attack in the desert. He founded several newspapers: “In 1818, at Calcutta, he brought out the Calcutta Journal, attacked Government so vigorously that, in 1823, his license was taken away and he was deported from the country” (DIB). Back in England, Buckingham continued to publish newspapers and became a reformist member of the House of Commons and “one of the most prolific travel writers of his day, publishing no fewer than 11 major works of travel” (Howgego B69). It is primarily for these travel accounts that he is now remembered, although Plan of a Model Town has become an early urban planning text. Buckingham, in fact, was one of the earliest proponents of and surveyors for the Suez Canal. Buckingham’s model town of Victoria, made up of concentric squares, predated Ebenezer Howard’s Garden City movement (1902) and influenced the design of the Australian city of Adelaide. Of special interest is the supplementary sheet (pages 196*-199*) in which Buckingham compares his model town with Christopher Wren’s 1666 design for the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire. Buckingham’s plan for a model town included Utopian social reforms to education, intemperance, nationalism, free trade, taxation, emigration, colonization and the electoral system. Goldsmiths’ 36656.
Interior fine; spine toned, original blind-stamped cloth binding rubbed. An extremely good copy.