Six large quarto volumes in contemporary full leather bindings published London, 1755, first editions in this form. Printed by C. Bathurst, C. Davis, C. Hitch etc. Complete and in very good condition. Various plates including, in particular the plates and maps relating to Gulliver’s Travels.
Each volume bound in full leather with gilt moniker centre front. Raised bands to spines with six compartments those free with gilt decoration. Black leather title and volume labels showing some age and Vol 1 with loss. Gilt lines to boards and gilt knurling to board edges and on board inside edges. Marbled end paper, marbled page edges
The first noted owners of the set are of interest. Isaac Blackburne born in 1759 to Thomas Blackburne High Sheriff of Lancashire. He went to school in Manchester and then Oriel College, Oxford where he qualifies BA in 1782 and MA 1785. During the “French Wars” he was Captain in Lord Stanley’s Lancashire Regiment. His sister Anne Blackburne was a distinguished botanist who corresponded with Linnaeus. She was the first person to cultivate pineapples in England. Isaac died 17th December 1830. The volumes record the passing to his son Thomas Blackburne via his sister Mary the following year.
Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) barely requires introduction. An Anglo-Irish satirist, political pamphleteer for the Whigs and then the Tories, poet and cleric who became the Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin. Whilst Gulliver’s Travels is foremost in most minds he also wrote and included here – A Modest Proposal; A Journal to Stella; Drapier’s Letters; The Battle of the Books; A Tale of a Tub etc. The foremost satirist in the English language and Master of both the Horatian and Juvenalian styles of that creed.
The presentation of Gulliver’s Travels is excellent. Pages throughout are clean and the plates and in particular the maps are well executed and full quarto page size. The relevance to Australia may not be understood by all with Lilliput set south of Sumatra and with Van Diemen’s Land featuring in the south east … Houyhnhnms Land and the Yahoos, as everybody knows, was discovered in 1711 and sits off the coast of South Australia.
The “biographer” John Hawkesworth requires mention, a man of distinction not the least in that he wrote up the official account of James Cook’s First Voyage in the Endeavour and the discovery of the East Coast of Australia.
Superior Quarto Swift’s Works in Six Volumes including Gulliver’s Travels Full leather binding – 1755