“THE FINEST OF MR. BARTLETT’S WORKS”: CANADIAN SCENERY
(CANADA) (BARTLETT, William Henry, illustrator) WILLIS, Nathaniel Parker. Canadian Scenery Illustrated. From Drawings by W.H. Bartlett. London: George Virtue, 1842. Two volumes. Quarto, contemporary three-quarter tan calf, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, raised bands, green morocco spine labels, marbled endpapers and edges. $2200.
First edition of Willis’ history of Canada, with 117 steel-engraved plates by Bartlett, two engraved vignette title pages, frontispiece portrait of Bartlett by Henry Room and engraved map of southeastern Canada, in handsome contemporary calf-gilt bindings.
The noted landscape and scenic illustrator William Bartlett traveled extensively through Europe, Asia and Africa, and “made four voyages to the United States and Canada… the fruits of which appeared in American Scenery and Canadian Scenery” (DNB). Included among the striking plates are depictions of Niagara Falls, Montreal, Toronto and Nova Scotia, as well as landscapes, rivers, ports, and Indian encampments. This is “the finest of Mr. Bartlett’s works” (Sabin 3786). Magazine editor, journalist, and talented poet and essayist, Nathaniel Parker Willis brought “a rare, modern sensibility to his reports on contemporary life” (Brady Gallery), including this history and current status of Upper and Lower Canada. Originally published in 30 parts beginning in 1840 (as a continuation of their earlier collaboration, American Scenery), this first edition in book form appeared in June of 1842. Staton & Tremaine 2424. BAL 22764. Allibone, 2757. Bookseller’s small embossed stamp to front free endpaper.
Text fine; a few plates with very faint marginal foxing—much less than often found—images clean and fine, impressions vivid. A bit of rubbing to calf extremities. A near-fine copy.