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History of the War with America, France, Spain, and Holland;...

Commencing in 1775 and Ending in 1783.

Availability: In stock

Published: London John Fielding and John Jarvis, 1785-6

Stock Code: 131885

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


First edition. An attractive history, particularly prized in its day for the series of portraits which include the King, Franklin, Lafayette, and Washington, Admirals Howe, Keppel, Parker, Kempenfelt, Hood and Rodney, and Generals Greene, Clinton, Howe, Burgoyne, and Cornwallis. The first substantial, general history of the conflict by an Englishman, much of the material was drawn from the Annual Register and the proceedings of the Commons, but considered by Lowndes to be "a judicious compilation." Andrews' "preferences that were essentially those of a moderate opposition Whig, he criticised post-1763 policies that had precipitated the American war. 'Under the pretext of providing for the safety and defence of its colonies', he chided, the Grenville ministry 'meant only to terrify them into an implicit acquiescence in all its dictates' He none the less thought that the Americans, an ambitious people, would eventually have insisted on independence anyway. Britain, he predicted, would not suffer unduly from the loss. 'Through the excellence of her constitution, and the wisdom of her government, but, above all, through the genius, the industry, and the persevering disposition of her people', he argued that the nation would climb to even greater heights" (ODNB). Attractive contemporary armourial bookplates of George Arnold (1753-1805), "one of the Gentlemen of his Majesties most Honorable Privy Chamber" to all pastedowns. Later bookplates of of Robert J. Hayhurst, who inherited and improved a successful group of retail pharmacies, John Hayhurst & Son, based in Nelson, Lancashire, and became an avid collector of naval history and of eighteenth-century literature in contemporary bindings; "Mr. R. J. Hayhurst believes that most pharmacists neglect one of their most valuable assets the tradition and dignity of the pharmacy. His historical sense, indeed, is no narrow one, for his feeling for the past reveals itself also in his hobbies. A collector of books, in a delightful room at his home, white-painted bookshelves stacked high on all the available wall space show to advantage the hand-tooled leather bindings of a collection that has been acquired slowly and with discrimination over the years" (The Chemist and Druggist, 7 September, 1957).

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4 volumes, octavo (210 x 128 mm). Contemporary streaked calf, all volumes neatly rebacked, original red morocco lettering-pieces laid down, new green morocco numbering pieces with red morocco, gilt framed roundels, compartments formed by gilt floral roll, gilt lozenges to first, third, fifth and sixth, gilt milled edge-roll, edges stained yellow.


Portrait frontispiece of George III to Volume I, and 23 other portraits, 7 maps and charts, hand-coloured in outline, all but one of them folding, vignette of a trophy of arms to the title pages.


A little rubbed and bumped at the extremities, tan-burn to the endpapers, variable, largely light, browning to the text-blocks, one leaf in volume IV repaired on the fore-edge, no loss of text, overall a very good set.


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