In nine volumes, complete. With notes and illustrations by Joseph Warton, D.D., and others.Basel: Printed and sold by J. J. Tourneisen, 1803 Stock Code: 131574
An attractive set with an interestingly complex continental history, printed by the Swiss piratical publisher J. J. Tourneisen, bound in Italy, and thereafter in the "British Library" in Malaga, with their stamps to endpapers. Tourneisen, free from the restraints of British copyright law, printed numerous British authors including Addison, Adam Smith, and David Hume, reflecting increased continental interest in British writing around the turn of the 19th century. With printing costs apparently cheaper on the continent, Tourneisen's books were even imported to Britain, undercutting the domestic market, to the ire of British publishers and authors. This edition is uncommon, with Library Hub locating only two sets in British institutions (although better represented on the continent); interestingly, Lord Byron owned a set, which was auctioned at Christie's in 1994.
Provenance: ownership inscription of "Charles Royer, Trieste" to title pages; this is almost certainly naval officer Charles Royer (d. 1854), who had a long and distinguished career. He originally served with Parker on the Swiftsure in the West Indies, and was after "most actively employed in the Mediterranean, where he fought at the battle of the Nile, took part as Midshipman in many important operations on the coast of Italy, and was present, 24 June, 1801, in a desperate engagement of more than an hour's duration, which reduced the Swiftsure to a wreck and rendered her a prize to a French squadron of four sail of the line under Rear-Admiral Ganteaume" Royer then served on the Cameleon, which cruised the Adriatic during 1804, when he may have purchsed this set at Trieste. Service on the Kent and the Victory followed. Royer ended his career as Harbour Master at Port Louis, Mauritius.
9 volumes, octavo (208 x 126 mm). Contemporary Italian half vellum, patterned paper sides, manuscript lettering to spines, red edges.
Minor loss to paper covering, small chip at head of rear joint of vol. VII, some light foxing and staining to contents. An excellent set.
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