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Remarkable Occurences in the Life of Jonas Hanway Esq
London: J. Davis, 1787. [2], x, 262pp, contemporary full calf, raised bands, spine in six panels, morocco title label to second panel, remaining panels with central gilt flower and corner pieces. Rubbed, outer joints split and chipped but holding, chipped to spine ends, corners bumped and worn. Title and map slightly browned and offset, occasional pencil marginalia in an old hand, loss of bottom corner to P6 (not affecting text), otherwise internally fairly bright. Folding engraved frontispiece map. The first biography of Hanway, published a year after his death, with a bibliography of Hanway's works. "Hanway, Jonas (bap. 1712, d. 1786), merchant and philanthropist ... Hanway emerged from obscurity through the publication of his adventures in Russia and Persia in An Historical Account of the British Trade over the Caspian Sea (4 vols., 1753). This was the most original and entertaining of all his books and its success prompted him to continue writing for the remainder of his life on all manner of subjects, prompting Charles Wilson to call him 'one of the most indefatigable and splendid bores of English history' ... His mother's death in 1755 prompted Hanway to return to Portsmouth where she was buried, according to her wishes. His brief trip was the inspiration for Hanway's second book, A Journal of Eight Days' Journey from Portsmouth to Kingston upon Thames (1756), to which he appended An Essay on Tea. These works led to a literary skirmish with Oliver Goldsmith and Samuel Johnson, both of whom found Hanway trite and prolix, and his opposition to tea intemperate. Johnson claimed that Hanway had 'acquired some reputation by traveling abroad, but lost it all by traveling at home' (Boswell, Life, 1934, 2.122), but Hanway was largely right about the adulterated beverage that passed for tea in the mid-eighteenth century ... Hanway in mid-life was on the fringe of a very profitable trade, for the Russia Company enjoyed golden hours in the eighteenth century. Russia Company merchants were noted for philanthropy, and it was natural for Hanway to follow suit, but he did so with a zeal and an attention to detail that would make his name a byword for philanthropy ... It is impossible to know to what extent Hanway's philanthropy was motivated by humane or religious concerns (he was a devout member of the Church of England) and to what extent by practical considerations, such as his concern for the 'deep designs' of the French (A Letter from a Member of the Marine Society, 1757, 4), and his conviction that 'Increase alone can make our natural Strength in Men correspond with our artificial Power in Riches, and both with the Grandeur and Extent of the British Empire' (Serious Considerations on the Salutary Design of the Act of Parliament for a Regular Uniform Register of the Parish Poor, 1762, 26). Such arguments prevailed in his writings, and even led him to partial agreement with Bernard Mandeville that 'private vices, in some instances may be deemed public benefits, particularly by increasing the number of people' through illegitimate births... Hanway was buried on 13 September in the crypt of St Mary's Church, Hanwell, after an elaborate funeral designed to advertise the Marine Society's ship school as well as to honour the founder. In 1788 an impressive memorial was placed in Westminster Abbey, the first to commemorate a philanthropist. By the Victorian era he was little known" (ODNB). First Edition. Full Calf. Good. 8vo.
      [Bookseller: Temple Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2013-08-01           Check availability:      Biblio    


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