A New and Authentic History of England,
from the most remote period of genuine historical evidence, to the present important crisis: containing an interesting chronicle of the monarchs; and an accurate chronological account of the remarkable events, and singular occurrences, that have happened in, or have any relation to, this kingdom...London: Printed for J. Cooke, at Shakespeare's-Head, No. 17, in Paternoster-Row, [1777-81?] Stock Code: 131920
An imposing and well-illustrated History of England from the time of the American Revolutionary War. The book was published in parts from 1777 onwards; three variant issues are known based on the dates of the historical events that the book includes, this going to 1781, the other two issues going to 1779. The book ends with the hope that the colonists will be reconciled to England.
Published by John Cooke in Paternoster Row, it is probable that the book is a concoction, plagiarized from other historical books but sufficiently abridged and amended to fall on the right side of the Copyright Act of 1710. "William Augustus Russel" is a typical pseudonym for such productions: three names, the first ordinary, the second meant to sound authoritative or classical, and the surname a familiar name with an unusual spelling. Paternoster Row was known for these borderline-legal piracies; to take two prominent examples, John Cooke's neighbour at number 16, Alexander Hogg, published an unauthorized version of James Cook's Voyages in 1784, while his other neighbour at number 18, James Harrison, published a pirated version of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary in 1786.
Folio (385 x 243 mm). Recent quarter calf, preserving contemporary red morocco label, marbled sides.
With 80 full-page copper engravings [as called for in list of cuts, though title page calls for over a hundred], including vignette frontispiece.
Bound without the list of subscribers. Some minor chipping around page extremities, some faint finger-soiling. A very good copy.
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