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The Gentleman’s Dictionary: in Three Parts.

Viz. I. The Art of Riding the Great Horse ... II. The Military Art ... III. The Art of Navigation ... : Each Part done Alphabetically, from the Sixteenth Edition of the Original French, published by the Sieur Guillet ... with Large Additions, Alterations and Improvements, adapted to the Customs and Actions of the English ...

Published: London: H. Bonwicke, T. Goodwin, M. Wotton, , B. Tooke, and S. Manship, 1705

Stock code: 61248

Price: £750

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First edition in English, originally published as Les arts de l’homme d’épée, ou, Le Dictionnaire du Gentilhomme, Paris, 1678. A splendid pocket guide which seeks to teach the arts of riding; military organization and fortification; and the management and navigation of a ship, in dictionary form. Each of the 3 parts is illustrated with a folding plate, “the true and perfect seat upon horseback”; “all manner of works used in fortification”; and “A Description of a Ship, with all Her Tackling.” An extremely popular work, it was reprinted many times and was translated into Italian in 1683. This copy with the ownership inscription of John Spurr to the title page, dated 1774. This could very possibly be Maj. Gen. John Spurr (1759–1816) who served in the Continental Army during the War of Independence. He was a participant in both the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Bunker Hill, and was commissioned a captain in Col. Thomas Nixon’s Regiment in 1777. He fought in the second Battle of Saratoga, and was present during the surrender of General John Burgoyne. He was promoted to the rank of major in 1780 and eventually held the rank of major general in the Massachusetts State Militia.

Octavo (170 115 mm). Contemporary Cambridge panelled calf, rebacked, preserved in a plain cloth slip-case. Half-title bound in, 3 folding plates, numerous wood-cut illustrations to the text. A little rubbed, light browning overall, some splits to the folding plates repaired, the last a little stained from an old tape repair, but a very good copy.

Bibliography: Adams & Waters 1898; Craig pp. 4-5; Polak for the French edition.

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