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RUSSELL, George.

A Tour through Sicily, in the year 1815.

London : Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, 1819 Stock Code: 140383
£825.00
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First edition of this attractively illustrated and uncommon narrative. A contemporary reviewer, while bemoaning the book's high price of a guinea, remarked on Russell's "very minute and satisfactory descriptions of things which other travelers, have, perhaps, treated too negligently" (Analyses of Seven New Works of Voyages and Travels, 1819). George Russell, described on the title page as "of His Majesty's Office of Works" a position that he was still holding some five decades later gives "indisposition" as his reason for travel. In Rome he falls in with a Herr Fromm, "a gentleman high in the legal department of the duchy of Mecklenburg" and, along with a group of Germans, they set off for Sicily, taking in all of the major sites. His travelogue includes descriptions of "the volcano of Macaluba Macalube, Castro Giovanni, the ancient Enna, the lake of Proserpine, the valley of Ispica of which no account is given in Swinburne or Brydone" (p. vii).

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Description

Octavo (217 x 130 mm). Contemporary red straight-grain morocco, spine with four low broad raised bands, each decorated with four gilt fillets closed with a foliate finial, gilt lettered direct to second compartment, scrolling foliate decoration to others, sides with gilt triple fillet frame enclosing concentric panels comprising a broad foliate roll and four gilt fillets with foliate corner pieces, pretty gilt edge roll and turn-ins, Spanish pattern marbled endpapers, gilt edges

Illustrations

Hand-coloured engraved folding map of Sicily as frontispiece, 10 aquatint plates by I. Clark, 6 engraved plates (2 folding), and two wood-engraved illustrations in the text.

Condition

Contemporary ownership inscription on preliminary blank of one H. Nicholl; later 19th-century bookplate of Probert of The Argoed. Joints a little rubbed, preliminary blank creased, touch of offsetting from map to title page, creasing to lower fore corner of final third. A very good copy, clean and tall, in a choice period binding.

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