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The Characters of Theophrastus – Isaac Taylor – 1831

Short Description

There is a suggestion of an earlier issue, which we cannot find. We believe first edition or first of type. Published by Valpy, London 1831.

Small octavo, 159 pages with 50 engravings. Original half morocco binding over brown cloth covered boards, top edge gilt. Raised bands with bright gilt to spine. A little rubbing and fading contrast on rear board. Nice original end papers with book label of Victorian author Fanny Marryat (Married name Palliser). Very clean inside and a very good copy of a scarce and curious book

Title continues … “illustrated by Physiognomical Sketches to which are Subjoined Hints on the Individual Varieties of Human Nature and General Remarks.”. Essentially a precursor to Phrenology.

Starts with a biographical sketch of Theophrastus author of the earliest surviving character studies. Underlying translation from the original Greek to English. Originally thought to be done by Francis Howell but actually artist and writer Isaac Taylor … Preface signed “T”.

Whatever we think of phrenology now .. it can be quite awkward, one cannot help agreeing with some of the suggestions. The “Impure” is surely a likeness of Harvey W.

Theophrastus had a go at defining character types … the Victorians were curious … now politically incorrect.


Price: $160.00

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