"THE LASTING MEMORIAL OF OLD ST PAUL'S": 1818 FOLIO EDITION OF DUGDALE'S HISTORY OF ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL, WITH 69 FOLIO ENGRAVINGS
(LONDON—ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL) DUGDALE, William. The History of St. Paul's Cathedral, in London. London: Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, and Jones… and Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1818. Large, thick folio (10-1/2 by 16 inches), 19th-century three-quarter calf, black morocco spine label, marbled boards, uncut. $2400.
Fine 19th-century folio edition of Dugdale's history of St. Paul's Cathedral, with engraved frontispiece portrait and 68 folio engravings (nine double-page), including all of Hollar's illustrations for the original 1658 edition re-engraved for this "beautifully printed" edition. "With the destruction of the cathedral in the great fire of 1666 Dugdale's book became the lasting memorial of old St Paul's" (ODNB).
Sir William Dugdale's "love of antiquarian research" and scrupulous reliance on primary materials helped preserve countless historical sources and resulted in his recognition as a founder of modern historiography. "An acquaintance drew Dugdale's attention to a collection of records relating to St Paul's Cathedral. Following this trail he was led to Scriveners' Hall, where he was lent 'ten porters' burthens' of charters and rolls and other manuscripts 'in bags and hampers'—unsorted like many legal and state documents at that time, and in mouldering neglect. With the spectacle close at hand of the great church slowly deteriorating from years of maltreatment and sacrilegious use, Dugdale rapidly compiled The History of St. Paul's Cathedral, which was published in 1658. Not only did this book print the surviving documentary records of the cathedral, it also preserved the appearance of the building. Its Norman and Gothic details and the alterations made by Inigo Jones in the 1630s were recorded in extensive plates, once again prepared by Hollar, several of them based on drawings made by William Sedgwick in 1641. With the destruction of the cathedral in the great fire of 1666 Dugdale's book became the lasting memorial of old St Paul's" (ODNB). "This edition is beautifully printed in double columns, and the plates, the greater of which are executed by W. Finden, are faithful copies from the originals. It likewise contains some additional plates, illustrative of the present cathedral" (Lowndes). First published in 1658. Lowndes, 690. Bookplate. Owner pencil signature.
Occasional marginal foxing. Plates generally clean and fine. Light expert restoration to binding. An exceptionally good copy. Scarce.