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[WARNER, Richard.]

[Dropped head title:] The Diary of a Retired Country Parson.

Chelwood, 1848 Stock Code: 127816

"RAIL-ROAD disasters, - sad and bloody!"

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First and sole edition, privately printed at Chelwood, the north Somerset parish of the antiquary Richard Warner (1763-1857) and produced to a remarkably high early-Victorian standard (see Cotton's Typographical Gazetteer, Second Series, Oxford, 1866). With a fine provenance: ownership inscription (on front free endpaper, in Latin and Greek) of Francis Kilvert (1793-1863), Church of England clergyman and writer, uncle and tutor to the diarist Francis Kilvert, noting the book as a gift from the author Richard Warner (on 13 November 1848); with a presentation slip in Latin (front pastedown) donating the book to the Bath Literary Society and a further inscription presenting the book to the Bath Literary Club ("The Club"), dated 14 February 1867

The Diary is Warner's entertaining autobiographical musings in rhyming couplets of a retired Parson's day and its diversions, spent most notably amongst the newspapers (including references to 'CHARTISTS plotting...POTATOES rotting') but also featuring the famed Bath bun from "Sally Lunn's". The railway mania of the 1840s also plays a large part: "RAIL-ROAD disasters, - sad and bloody! On 'lines laid down,' in Old Nick's study! Their carriages in rapid race, flying, like wind, from place to place, annihilating time and space! Rejoicing, as chimaeras dire! In breath of smoke; and lungs of fire! Smoking, groaning, roaring, dashing, Now - passengers and stokers smashing! Undoubted blessings to the nation! To aid the growth of speculation, and check, redundant population".

Conspicuously uncommon: not located in Copac or OCLC but cited by Emanuel Green in his Bibliotheca Somersetensis (1902).

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Quarto (275 x 219 mm), 8 pp. Original decorated blue paper boards, ornamental border printed in red, gilt title "The Diary" (front cover) and "of an aged Parson" (back cover), pale primrose coated endpapers, gilt edges.


Letterpress printed in blue within a red ornamental border on high quality pale yellow stock paper.


Recently dispersed from the Bath Reference Library collection, with neat bookplate and manuscript press-mark to front pastedown, blind-stamps to text. Slightly rubbed at extremities, else a remarkably well preserved copy of this delicate production.


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