Book Description

xlii, 43-327, [1]; xviii, 19-360; x, 525 [1] pp., 445 figs, 333 vignettes, 2 vols, 8vo in 4s (213x135mm), cont. diced calf, dec. gt border to boards, gt tooling to spines, marbled edges and endpapers. Some minor wear to corners and head/foot of spines, score mark to rear board of 'Birds'. Early owner's name to title-page of 'Quadrupeds'. Scattered spotting and some browning, occasional staining, however a generally well preserved set. Birds (1809): Part I - Land Birds, 4th ed.; Part II - Water Birds, 3rd ed. These two editions were issued as one and are considered as a single volume (Roscoe 20). Quadrupeds (1811), 6th ed. (Roscoe 6). These editions were issued in demy 8vo only (unlike other editions which were issued in various sizes), and Roscoe comments that the 6th edition of 'Quadrupeds', 'in this respect forms a companion to the 'Birds' of 1809.' Roscoe also states that copies of these editions' '... are rather scarce and usually in the poorest condition; their (comparatively) low price and their 'popular' form would have no appeal for the 'book-mad gentry' and the collector of stately volumes, and their fate was that of all small and much used books.' Thomas Bewick (1753-1828) was a passionate naturalist, ‘a son of nature’, as Audubon called him, a man immersed in the English countryside. He is considered as England’s most masterly engraver, and his books, ‘A General History of Quadrupeds’ (first published 1790) and ‘History of British Birds’ (2 vols first published 1797, 1804) are illustrated with Bewick's wood engravings. Bewick created these books with the purpose of instructing the youth, remarking on his illustrations, ‘… I illustrated them by figures delineated with all the fidelity and animation I was able to impart to mere woodcuts without colour; and as instruction is of little avail without constant cheerfulness and occasional amusement, I interspersed the more serious studies with Tale-pieces of gaiety and humour.’ (Roscoe, p. xv). [37241]
Date 1809-1811
Publisher Printed by Edward Walker, for T. Bewick and Longman and Co.: Newcastle upon Tyne.

Price: £225.00

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