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Biographical Memoirs of Lord Viscount Nelson, &c. &c. &c. With observations, critical and explanatory.
London: H. D. Symonds; J. Hatchard; and Black and Parry, 1806 - Octavo (225 × 137 mm). Original boards, paper spine label, uncut. Extremities of spine chipped, joints partially split but sound, a couple of gatherings slightly toned, light offsetting from letterpress to plans. A very good, tall copy, with the publisher's 32-page catalogue (dated 1805) at the end. Fine stipple-engraved portrait frontispiece of Nelson by Hopwood (based on the Piercy Roberts engraving after the Abbott portrait, used to illustrated a memoir in the Naval Chronicle of 1800), one plate (the "boat fight" off Cadiz), 4 plans (Cape St Vincent, Aboukir, Copenhagen, Trafalgar), facsimile of Nelson's handwriting. First edition of the first significant post-Trafalgar life of Nelson (the frontispiece is dated 7 January 1806), attractively presented here in the original boards. Charnock was prompted to write his biography by Nelson's "teacher, friend, and correspondent" (ODNB) Captain William Locker ("by him the present work was suggested"): "the information and the letters communicated by Locker gave the book, at the time, a value far above that of the numerous instant memoirs which were produced after Trafalgar" (ibid). John Charnock (1756-1807) was one of the most highly regarded naval authors of the period, although, as ODNB rather mournfully relates, "he died. in great poverty, and not impossibly in a debtors' gaol or an insane asylum. Charnock's career may be seen as a warning of the perils of professional naval authorship". His book precedes the better known biographies by Clarke and McArthur (1809) and Robert Southey (1813) and is an important milestone in the creation of the Nelson mythos. Cowie 129 (mistakenly dating this edition to 1802): NMM 906 (mistakenly calling the engraved portrait frontispiece an additional engraved title page). [Attributes: First Edition]
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington. ABA member]
Last Found On: 2017-01-25           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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