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Recollections of Past Life.
London, Spottiswode & Co., 1868. 8vo. Original maroon pebble-grained cloth, spine lettered 1868, front cover with H. H. in gilt; pp. [iv], 194; a near fine copy of a great rarity. Privately printed first edition, presentation copy inscribed, signed and dated April 11, 1868 by Holland to his friend Dr. Henry Bence Jones, physician, chemist and promotor of the Royal Society. These are the vividly written recollections of one of the most relentless and keen British travellers of the 19th century. Sir Henry Holland (1788-1873) was a successful society physician, related to Josiah Wedgwood, the patron of the arts, and to the novelist Elizabeth Gaskell. 'Holland very determinedly carved out for himself exactly the life he wanted. Spare of stature but blessed with exceptionally good health, he was able to indulge his abiding love of travel right up to the time of his death' (ODNB). He began travelling abroad with a trip to Iceland in 1810, which provided data for his doctoral thesis De morbis Islandiae. This was followed, after his graduation by visiting Portugal, Gibraltar, Sardinia, Sicily, the Ionian Isles, and Greece, resulting in his book Travels in the Ionian Isles. The success of his medical practice 'gave him the freedom to pursue his great love of travel. In his lifetime he visited every European capital, made two visits to Iceland, and eight to America, covering more than 26,000 miles of that continent' (ibid.). Apart from Holland's few travel books and contributions to periodicals, this book is the best source about his life and passion for travel. Provenance: The dedicatee of this copy, Henry Bence Jones, is mentioned on p. 132 of the book as 'my friend', with whom Holland had tried to establish a research fund for the Royal Society, in order to set up a permanent laboratory. The only copy of this first edition located on the British Isles is at Aberdeen University. Although the book went through at least four editions - all with small print runs - in the early 1870s, it is a very rare title.
      [Bookseller: Henry Sotheran Ltd.]
Last Found On: 2017-08-22           Check availability:      Direct From Seller    

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