HISTOIRE DES REVOLUTIONS D'ANGLETERRE DEPUIS LE COMMENCEMENT DE LA MONARCHIE.

(Paris: Chez Claude Barbin, 1693-94). 248 x 191 mm. (9 3/4 x 7 1/2"). Three volumes. FIRST EDITION.

SPLENDID AND UNUSUAL EARLY 19TH CENTURY MARBLED CALF, SUMPTUOUSLY GILT, WITH RED MOROCCO SPINES, covers with gilt borders of two decorative rules and an elegant undulating floral vine, flat straight-grain morocco spines very handsomely gilt in compartments with pointillé ground and central circlet from which radiate four lilies and four leaves on twining stems, turn-ins gilt with plain and decorative rolls, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. With engraved head- and tailpieces and eight engraved portraits. Verso of front free endpaper with armorial bookplate of Baron de Mackau (see below); title page with ink ownership inscription (of Alexander Paul Ludwig Goupy?) in a contemporary hand. Brunet II, 822; Graesse II, 428; Lowndes I, 1374. Isolated gatherings with variable browning (a small handful rather browned), one leaf in first volume with inexpert early repair of four-inch tear (letters of four words partly obscured or displaced, and the text and facing page somewhat discolored), a few additional trivial imperfections internally, but the text generally quite fresh and clean. One joint with five small wormholes, a few (hardly noticeable) shallow scratches to covers, a hint of wear to extremities, but THE LOVELY BINDINGS IN FINE CONDITION, with lustrous leather and gilt, with only minor wear, and with their very considerable original visual appeal entirely intact.

This history of "England's Revolutions" begins with the invasion of the Saxons and covers the struggles for the throne of England through the Plantagenets, Tudors, and Stuarts up to the Restoration and the reign of James II. The learned Jesuit historian Pierre Joseph d'Orléans (1641-98) was described by Voltaire as the first historian to specialize in revolutions--he was also the author of a history of revolutions in Spain, an account of the Tartar conquerors of China, and a subsequent study of the English Civil War, covering the years 1603-90 in depth. The present work was favorably received on both sides of the Channel: the Earl of Chatham commended it in his letters, and du Fresnoy described it as a "history written with eloquence and judgment" and praised its equal treatment of Catholics and Protestants. When the present set appeared in a George Bayntun catalogue, the bindings were described as "very handsome" and "almost identical to the set of Bertrand De Moleville's 'Histoire de la Révolution de France,' 1801-1803 bound by Bozerian" and also from the library of Baron de Mackau, (1832-1918), a member of the Chamber of Deputies for 42 years and a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. The volumes are unusual in their combination of calf boards with contrasting morocco spines, and their gilt decoration is particularly lovely. François Bozerian, generally called "Bozerian le jeune," was active in Paris from the turn of the 19th century until 1818, and for much of that time, he worked with his elder brother Jean-Claude. The Bozerian binderies produced many fine books, praised today especially for their technical achievement and elegance of design. The first edition of this work is surprisingly rare: a dozen copies appear in OCLC, and ABPC records only one copy at auction since at least 1975.
(ST11540)

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PJP Catalog: 73.100

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