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An Encyclopaedia of Cottage, Farm, and Villa Architecture and Furniture;
- London, Longman . Howe, Sydney; and Melville, Hobart Town 1833. Stout octavo 19th century half calf, spine elaborately decorated in gilt; xx,1138pp; hundreds of illustrations, many on litho plates; bound without the half title. Endpapers spotted, some light spots elsewhere but a very good, rather handsome copy. First edition, bound from parts (it was issued in parts beginning in April 1832). The lithograph plates were replaced with wood engravings early on and copies of the first edition may have lithographs (either printed on both sides of the sheet, as here, or on one side only), wood engravings or a mixture of both. I'm not sure whether Loudon worked himself to death or whether he worked in a race against death - whichever it was he was prodigious in circumstances that flabbergast me (crippling arthritis, right arm amputated, lung cancer and so on). As a progressive utilitarian he was indefatiguable in gathering practical examples of sensible modern technology that could be of use for the improvement of mankind but he begins this book with a note of almost religious fervour. His task is, he says, to unveil the ancient mysteries that most professions - and architects particularly - guard for themselves. 'It is in the nature of all knowledge held as a mystery, to remain in a great measure stationary . hence the very slender progress that has been made in architecture'. With the art of printing and the use of the steam engine will come a time when 'all knowledge will be common to all mankind'. He is quite specific that this is a book for both hemispheres and, apart from being the first architecture book with an Australian imprint, there can be little argument that this was the most important architectural book for Australians for most of the century. [Attributes: Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Richard Neylon]
Last Found On: 2014-10-29           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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