(Glasgow: Published by Joseph Swan, 1828). 276 x 216 mm. (10 7/8 x 8 1/2"). 4 p.l., xvi,  (fly title), 91,  pp. FIRST EDITION.
Handsome 19th century polished calf, covers with elaborate floral roll frame in gilt and blind, raised bands decorated with four gilt rules terminating in an arabesque at either end, gilt compartments formed by thick, thin, and dotted rules, tan morocco title label, turn-ins tooled in blind, all edges gilt. WITH 33 ENGRAVED SCENIC PLATES PRINTED ON INDIA PAPER AND MOUNTED, the engravings done by Joseph Swan after drawings by J. Fleming and J. Knox. Original tissue guards (one missing). ◆Very thin crack along top three inches of front joint (the joints otherwise not seriously worn), one large and two small abrasions to lower cover, but the original decorative binding solid, especially lustrous, and altogether pleasing. A hint of foxing (only) to some plates (two plates a bit more foxed), endpapers and first few leaves at front and back with faint discoloration at corners (apparently from glue), otherwise A FINE COPY INTERNALLY--fresh, bright, and clean throughout, and with first-rate impressions of the engravings.
This book differs from other travel books of the day in its exclusive focus on a city--and not an exotic foreign city, but one known more for its industry than its scenery. Indeed, it would be difficult to name another work in this genre with views featuring smokestacks as well as cathedrals. However, at the time the present book was printed, Glasgow was known as the "Second City of the British Empire" for its important contributions to the economy, and was proud to be a city of what was then understood to be progress. The scenes here, by the capable engraver Joseph Swan (1796-1872), do not depict depressing views of dark satanic mills, but reveal a bustling modern city, where goods are constantly being produced, bought, sold, and shipped. Many of the engravings show citizens hard at work in various capacities, while others show them enjoying the leisure their prosperity affords. The "environs" of the title take us to the surrounding countryside, where the roofs, steeples, and smokestacks of the city on the River Clyde can be admired from a hillside advantage. Swan and John Leighton (fl.1828-40) collaborated on several scenic books about Scotland, with the others concentrating on the natural beauties of lakes and rivers. (ST11549a)