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Monasticon Anglicanum: a history of the abbies and other monasteries, hospitals, frieries, and cathedral and collegiate churches, with their dependencies, in England and Wales; also of all such Scotch, Irish, and French monasteries as were in any manner connected with religious houses in England. Together with a particular account of their respective foundations, grants, and donations, and a full statement of their possessions, as well temporal as spiritual. A new edition, enriched with a large accession of materials now first printed from leiger books, chartularies, rolls, and other documents preserved in the national archives, public libraries, and other repositories; the history of each religious foundation in English being prefixed to i
London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, & Brown; Lackington, Hughes, Mavor, & Jones; and Joseph Harding, 1817–30 - 2 works in 8 volumes, bound as 18, folio (475 x 320 mm). Uniformly bound in mid-19th-century deep purple morocco by Clarke & Bedford, richly gilt spines, gilt ornamental panels on sides, gilt supralibros of Archibald Acheson (third Earl of Gosford) on front covers, all edges gilt, richly gilt roll tool turn-ins, marbled endpapers. From the library of the Irish judge William O'Brien (1832-1899), whose discerning collection is a microcosm of late 19th-century taste in book collecting, and included a handful of medieval manuscripts, incunabula, Aldine editions, three Shakespeare folios, 16th-century English books and handsome editions of English literature; subsequent labels of Milltown Park Library; spines (and some covers) lightly sunned, occasional dark mottling, internally some foxing and light offsetting from plates to letterpress. An excellent set. Monasticon: half-titles, additional engraved titles, letterpress titles in red and black (in 8 volumes), 243 engraved plates (52 double-page); Saint Paul's: half-titles, engraved frontispiece in part one, 64 engraved plates (7 double-page); wood-engraved decorative initials throughout. First of these editions, each of the large paper issue limited to 50 sets, with proof plates; the Gosford Castle copy. "In the early 'forties, [Archibald Acheson] the third earl of Gosford (1806-1864) had formed at Gosford Castle, in Ireland, a large and extremely beautiful library which was sold by private contract in 1878 to the London bookseller James Toovey" (Seymour De Ricci, English Collectors of Books & Manuscripts, 1930, p. 156). A part of the library - "the history, topography, natural history and the important series of books on large paper" (ibid.) - were dispersed through the sale rooms of Puttick and Simpson in April 1884 but some were retained by Toovey's heirs, and the choicest books passed into the Pierpont Morgan library in 1899. Dudgdale and Dodsworth's monumental Monasticon Anglicanum was first published between 1655 and 1673. "It gave the history of the various orders in England, and an account of all the individual monasteries. The surviving foundation charters, and charters relating to the growth of the monastery, were printed in full, and all known benefactions of land made to the monastery were set down. Monasticon Anglicanum established for the first time the importance of charters as a primary source for the writing of medieval history, and as a source for understanding the legal practice of earlier centuries and aspects of the feudal system relating to conditions of tenure. Equally it established for the first time since the Reformation the importance of monasteries and the scale of their territorial possessions" (ODNB). This superb Regency edition "contains everything in the original, and in [the antiquary, John] Stevens's continuation [of 1722-23], with an English account of each monastery, and additions from the Chapter House, Westminster, and public libraries" (Lowndes). It also drew on the records in the Tower of London and the Cottonian collection. Dugdale's history of Saint Paul's – originally issued in 1658 - became "the lasting memorial of old St Paul's" (ODNB) after the great fire of 1666 destroyed the old building. The original plates by Wenceslaus Hollar were re-engraved for this edition by the Finden brothers but the majority of the fine new plates are by the draughtsman and engraver John Coney. With some considerable justification, the editors describe Coney in their Preface as "an artist whose execution possesses the freedom and delicacy of Piranesi, without his occasional obscurity and coarseness". The art historian Michael Bryan, a contemporary of Coney's, refers to his plates as being "executed with consummate skill. His drawings exhibit all the minutest details without the appearance of labour, yet with a neatness that is truly surprising" (Bryan's Dictionary of Painters and Engravers). One of the finest English books of the period, here superbly bound
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington. ABA member]
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