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MOORE, John.

A View of Society and Manners in Italy:

with Anecdotes relating to some Eminent Characters.

London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1781 Stock Code: 139632
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First edition. Handsome set of this highly-finished and popular Grand Tour memoir based on Moore's travels as tutor to the eighth duke of Hamilton. A pretty contemporary binding in excellent state, and an noble provenance.

Moore was trained in medicine at Glasgow, attended Hunter's lectures on anatomy in London, and studied surgery in Paris under Sauver-François Morand. He also spent time as a surgeon's mate with the Army campaigning in Europe. He set up a practice in Glasgow in 1750, and in 1769 he attended the 7th duke of Hamilton in his final illness. " Moore wrote his epitaph, and his mother, Elizabeth Gunning, duchess of Argyll, placed her remaining son, Douglas, the eighth duke, under Moore's care. In 1772 Moore was appointed tutor to the duke for a residence of study on the continent, concluding with the traditional grand tour" (ODNB).

The party returned to Britain in 1777, and two years later Moore began publishing a series of accounts opening with France, Germany and Switzerland, followed by the present work. These "proved immensely popular", being "arranged in a series of letters, and relating in an informal style the observations of Moore's travels with the duke of Hamilton". Moore includes here an account of the history and present state of Rome and Venice. "There is an amusing account of the visit the duke and he paid to the pope. At Florence they often saw Prince Charles Edward Stuart and his still attractive spouse".

From the library of Charles William Vane, third marquess of Londonderry (17781854), with his elaborate armorial bookplate incorporating hussar supporters and his military awards to the front pastedown. Londonderry served through the Peninsular War to variable effect, Wellington describing him as a "sad brouillon and mischief-maker", while Foy referred to his cavalry attack at the Douro as "une charge incroyable". His diplomatic career was not much more successful, confessing in later life to having received a "smatter" of employment largely due to the influence of his half-brother Lord Castlereagh. Londonderry's mixture of bravery and foolhardiness is probably best summed up by his performance in both of the duels he took part in. "In each case Londonderry received his adversary's fire, and then discharged his own pistol in the air".

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2 volumes octavo (211 x 120 mm). Contemporary full calf, pin-point sprinkle, flat spines, red morocco labels, green roundel numbering-pieces, compartments formed by a triglyph and hexafoil roll containing panels centred on pleasing open lozenges of paraphs and pearls complemented by scrolled ribbon corner pieces, milled edge-roll, moderate green and pale grey shell marbled endpapers.


Lightly rubbed, a few minor scuffs, corners bumped, pale browning the occasional spot, a very good set.


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