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WESTON, Stephen.

The Praise of Paris:

Or, a sketch of the French capital; in extracts of letters from France, in the summer of 1802; with an index of many of the convents, churches, and palaces, not in the French catalogues, which have furnished pictures for the Louvre-Gallery.

Published: London: C. and R. Baldwin, 1803

Stock code: 111913

Price: £450

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First edition. Weston (1747-1830) was a antiqurian and classical scholar who wrote some fifty books, including various editions of Persian poetry, commentaries on Shakespeare, and several studies of classical architecture; notably he produced the first English translation of the Rosetta Stone, presented verbally at a Society of Antiquaries meeting in 1802. As a young man he accompanied Sir Charles Warwick Bampfylde of Devon as his tutor on his tour of the continent. “As a result of this tour he conceived a passion for travel and a particular love for France and, especially, for Paris. He was in Paris during the revolution of 1791 and 1792, but thought it expedient to leave the city rather than take unnecessary risks … He returned to Paris in 1802, and this visit too was celebrated by a publication, The Praise of Paris … [which prompted] a contributor to the Gentleman’s Magazine to write that although ‘as an archaeologist he may have had something to learn, his little book is vividly written, and his descriptions as clean cut as a cameo'” (ODNB).

Octavo (203 x 103 mm). Later 19th-century tree calf, rolled bands gilt to smooth spine forming compartments, red morocco label to second, marbled edges. Engraved frontispiece, one engraved vignette to the text, woodcut finispiece. Engraved armorial bookplate of Edward Parker of Browsholme to front pastedown. Joints and tips very lightly rubbed. An excellent, tall copy.

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