“IN THE CENTRE OF IRRESISTIBLE FORCES”: LIMITED FIRST EDITION OF SKELTON’S CHARLES I, ONE OF ONLY 500 COPIES, WITH FULL COLOR FRONTISPIECE AND 23 PLATES IN DOUBLE-SUITE
(CHARLES I) SKELTON, John. Charles I. London, Paris, Edinburgh: Goupil, 1898. Large quarto (10 by 13 inches), contemporary full brown morocco, raised bands, spine and covers with gilt armorial emblems, top edge gilt. $1800.
Limited first edition, number 11 of only 500 copies, printed on japanese paper and illustrated with color frontispiece, 23 splendid engraved plates in double-suite, and beautiful illustrated chapter headings, handsomely bound in full morocco with Charles I's arms and cipher in gilt.
A highly regarded historian, the Scottish-born Sir John Skelton was "a chivalrous defender" of his subjects, and a writer whose engaging style earned him considerable praise (Kunitz & Haycraft, 563). This posthumously published history of the controversial reign and execution of Charles I, issued a year after Skelton's death, ultimately characterizes the embattled king as a ruler trapped "in the centre of irresistible forces" (177). One of only 500 copies, this limited first edition of Charles I is a superb production, with a magnificent full-color frontispiece and 23 tissue-guarded plates in double-suite of splendid paintings after artists such as Vandyke, Oliver, Hoskins, Honthorst, Lely and Mytens—largely selected from the Royal Collections at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. Featured are portraits of Charles I, Queen Henrietta, Oliver Cromwell, and a plate depicting the execution of Charles I, along with facsimile documents that include Charles' marriage agreement and his death warrant. With engraved chapter headings and in-text illustrations.
A handsome illustrated volume in fine condition.