"THE HISTORY OF THE HOUSE ITSELF IS… CONCEALED FROM THE POPULAR GAZE, LOCKED UP, AS IT WERE, IN ITS VOLUMINOUS JOURNALS, STATE TRIALS, PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES, AND PRECEDENTS OF HATSELL": FIRST EDITION OF TOWNSEND'S HISTORY OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, 1843
TOWNSEND, W. Charles. History of the House of Commons, from the Convention Parliament of 1688-9 to the Passing of the Reform Bill in 1832. London: Henry Colburn, 1843. Two volumes. Octavo, contemporary three-quarter red calf, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, raised bands, green morocco spine labels, marbled boards, endpapers, and edges. $900.
First edition of the 19th-century history of Britain's House of Commons, handsomely bound in contemporary three-quarter calf-gilt.
"A History of the House of Commons, from the Revolution of 1688 to the passing of the Reform Bill, unless strictly limited to matters of its internal constitution, its forms and privileges, would be little less than the history of England itself. Since the Revolution, the history of England has been prepared or enacted within the walls of the House of Commons. The intrigues of the court, the alliances with foreign states, the craft and subtlety of diplomacy, the favours of the monarch, the appointment even of the members of his household,—everything that finds a place in the history of a court or a people, finds a place also in the history of the proceedings of the House… Mr. Townsend has not limited his work to what is understood by constitutional history, and, in consequence, his work has no other limit than such as the size of his book imposed upon it. His object has been, he tells us, in the first sentence of his preface, to give us 'a popular history of the House of Commons, furnishing biographical notices of those members who have been most distinguished in its annals, and describing the changes in its internal economy, powers, and privileges'… There is no line to be drawn between his work and a general history of England" (British Quarterly Review). Armorial bookplates and contemporary owner signatures.
Light foxing mainly to preliminaries, light wear to extremities, mild toning to spines. A handsome, near-fine copy.