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The Art of Preserving Health.
London: printed for T. Cadell, Jun. and W. Davies,, 1803. A New Edition. To which is prefixed A Critical Essay on the Poem by J. Aikin. Octavo (154 x 95 mm). Contemporary streaked calf, sensitively rebacked to style preserving original morocco title label, gilt roll to borders of boards and to board edges, marbled endpapers, blue speckled edges. Four engraved plates by Stothard. Some rubbing to the extremities, excellent condition. The copy of Anne Isabella, Lady Byron (née Milbanke), with her autograph ownership inscription to the first blank, with a slip pasted over it bearing her married name in Lord Byron's hand. John Armstrong (1709-79) was a Scottish-born physician and the author of several poems and essay. The Art of Preserving Health, his best known work, is considered one of the best didactic poems in the language ("those who value austere imagination and weighty diction cannot afford to neglect Armstrong's masterpiece" DNB), and was first printed in 1744. This copy, with the half-title, is a reprint of the new edition of 1795, which was the first to include the Stothard Plates and critical essay by Aikin. The association is a fascinating one in the light of Lord Byron's noted hypochondria, and Milbanke's concerns for his physical and mental health. It is also a keen demonstration of the combative relationship that typified their brief marriage, in that it was the husband's hand, and not the wife's, that overlaid her married name - especially when she was so sensitive about her complex lineage. A later pencil annotation to the front free endpaper verso verifies Milbanke and Byron's inscriptions, and notes that the book was given "by Lady Noel-Byron" to Sophia Coussmaker, 22nd Baroness de Clifford (1791-1874).
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2017-06-14           Check availability:      Biblio    

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