PENNANT'S HISTORY OF LONDON—ONE OF ONLY 175 QUARTO COPIES—GENEROUSLY EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED WITH OVER 200 PLATES, HANDSOMELY BOUND
(PENNANT, Thomas). Mr. Pennant's History of London, Westminster, and Southwark. London: Edward Jeffery, 1814. Two volumes. Quarto, contemporary full dark blue straight-grain morocco gilt, raised bands, all edges gilt. $3800.
Later edition of Pennant's highly regarded history of London, one of only 175 quarto copies, this copy extra-illustrated with 207 engraved portraits, views and maps, many on thick paper, in quite handsome contemporary straight-grain morocco.
Thomas Pennant, a member of the Royal Society whose "name stands high among the naturalists of the 18th century" (DNB), was also renowned for his travel narratives and this authoritative history of London. Pennant was praised by his contemporary, Samuel Johnson, as a man who "observes more things than any one else does." Johnson declared that Pennant had "greater variety of inquiry than almost any man… Pennant's literary industry was immense" (DNB). "This tireless naturalist and antiquary reached out to the ends of the world to gather in knowledge" (Cox). This copy generously extra-illustrated with 207 engraved plates, mainly portraits but including views and a map. This edition of Pennant's popular history was limited to 175 quarto (and 25 folio) copies, designed to be extra-illustrated by the purchaser. The publisher's advertisement reads: "This edition is published without any illustrations or prints whatever; but titles are printed, for the purchasers who choose to amuse themselves in the pursuit of illustrating; and an assortment of some hundreds of portraits, views, medals, and historical prints, may be had, together or separate, at the Publisher's."
Plates and text fine, contemporary morocco-gilt with light expert restoration. A lovely extra-illustrated copy.