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WORSLEY, Sir Richard.

The History of the Isle of Wight.

Availability: In stock

Published: London A. Hamilton, 1781

Stock Code: 120254

OR On display in 43 Dover Street


First edition. Worsley's political career as member of parliament for the Isle of Wight constituencies for Newport (1774-83) and subsequently Newtown (1790-3) were hampered by a mixture of limited skill, a somewhat abrasive personality and the very public collapse of his marriage, but "antiquarian studies were always an important refuge. His father and grandfather had begun work on The History of the Isle of Wight and Worsley brought it to completion, albeit with unacknowledged contributions from the Newport attorney Richard Clarke. It was published in 1781 after four years' labour and was well received, Worsley having been elected both FSA and FRS in 1778 on its strength. He found it satisfying work, gathering materials patiently and searching the sources with some expertise. Modern opinion considers it 'well researched, organized, and written, and handsomely produced' (Hicks, 166)" (ODNB). Provenance: from the library of Major J. R. Abbey (1894-1969), who built the standard collection of travel books illustrated in aquatint and lithography, with his bookplate to the front free endpaper, and a note to the rear free endpaper recording purchase at the posthumous 1942 sale of Sir Charles Chadwyck-Healey, 1st Baronet (1845-1919), with his bookplate to the front pastedown.

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Quarto (294 x 232 mm). Contemporary straight-grain red morocco, smooth spine richly gilt in compartments with floral sprays, twin green morocco labels, single-fillet frame gilt to sides, all edges gilt, turn-ins hatched in gilt, marbled endpapers.


Engraved title vignette, 7 similar tailpieces, folding map by John Hayward coloured in outline, 10 double-page engraved views by Thomas Vivaries after Antony Devis, or by Richard Godfrey, one folding view by Godfrey after J. Brotherton, double-page plan o


With the terminal errata leaf. Handwritten collation and newspaper clipping laid in. Joints and extremities slightly rubbed, sides lightly marked, old tape-repair and commensurate staining to folding map stub, occasionally light spotting or browning, stronger in sig. Cc and the view between pp. 258-9, plates variably offset, sig. X2 a little soiled in lower margin, otherwise a few other minor spots or marks. A very good copy in a splendid contemporary binding.


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