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(COMPANY OF STATIONERS.)

The Gentleman's Diary, or the Mathematical Repository; an Almanack for the Year of our Lord 1815:

being the third after bissextile or leap-year. Containing many useful and entertaining Particulars peculiarly adapted to the ingenious Gentlemen engaged in the delightful Study and Practice of the Mathematicks. The seventy-fifth almanack published of this kind; and the sixty-fourth of the New style in England.

London, Printed for the Company of Stationers by Nichols and Son, by J. and C. Adlard, by G. Woodfall, by Harrison and Son, by Luke Hansard & Sons, 1815 Stock Code: 116902
£200.00

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Notes

First edition, containing seven different almanacs published by the Company for the year 1815. This edition includes The Gentleman's Diary by Thomas Leybourne; The Ladies' Diary by Charles Hutton; Vox Stellarum by Francis Moore; Merlinus Liberatus by John Partridge; Old Poor Robin; Speculum Anni by Henry Season; The Celestial Atlas by Robert White.
The Company of Stationers' list of titles, known as the English Stock, swelled to 25 titles by 1801, ranging from respectable titles, albeit with limited circulation, such as the Gentleman's Diary and Ladies' Diary, to Francis Moore's Vox Stellarum, described by Katherine Anderson as "astrological crude, and immensely profitable" (25). The satirical Poor Old Robin series, written by pseudonymous authors since the eighteenth century, was similarly declaimed "a farrago of filth, obscenity, and stupidity", "execrable poison", and "a representative of the insulting absurdities through which the Stationers' Company made money... from a public taste for superstition and degraded buffoonery" (Wardhaugh, 231). Nonetheless, the public's in interest in these cruder works was reflected by the relatively consistent sales figure. In 1801, the Gentleman's Diary sold 2,648 copies and made one shilling profit, whereas Moore's Vox Stellarum sold 362,449 copies and made a profit of nearly 2,600.
Despite its unprofitability, the Gentleman's Diary series lasted for almost 100 years, with annual issues throughout 1741-1840. Each issue featured an almanac, enigmas, and mathematical problems. As Albree notes, the Gentleman's Diary was "an exceptional enterprise. Most late 18th century and early 19th century British mathematical periodicals were founded and produced by only one or two men and most were ephemeral" (21).

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Description

Duodecimo (161 x 100 mm). Contemporary straight-grain red morocco, gilt bands, borders and edges, marbled endpapers, sectional vellum ink-letter tabs, tax stamps on title page of each issue.

Condition

Light marking to sides, front inside hinge starting at head but holding firm, an excellent copy.

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Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

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