(London: Printed for William Miller, 1806). 191 x 114 mm. (7 1/2 x 4 1/2"). 1 p.l. (title), liii, [i], 215,  pp.With a life of the author by J. S. Clarke, F.R.S.
HANDSOME CONTEMPORARY NAVY STRAIGHT-GRAIN MOROCCO, ATTRACTIVELY GILT, covers bordered by double gilt rule enclosing a cresting gilt roll, flat spine divided into unequal compartments by multiple thick and thin gilt rules, large central compartments diapered by dotted rules, each diamond containing a gilt circlet, a narrow compartment above and below this panel decorated by an elegant floral gilt roll, panels at head and foot with sunrise centerpiece and anular dot corners, turn-ins with gilt lozenge and bead roll, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. With four engraved vignettes, engraved divisional title with vignette, and two dramatic engraved plates depicting the storm and shipwreck. Front pastedown with engraved bookplate of Castledown, an early library shelf label, and modern bookplate of Dr. and Mrs. D. Poushter; title page with early signature of "Ed. Conolly." Just a hint of rubbing at spine ends and corners, boards with minor spotting and abrasions, faint offsetting from one plate, other trivial defects internally, but a really excellent copy in extremely pleasing contemporary morocco, the text bright, fresh, and clean, and the binding completely solid, especially lustrous, and with no significant wear.
This is an attractively bound early 19th century printing of the popular poem in three cantos by Falconer (1732-69) recounting the wreck of a ship on the coast of Greece. The work first appeared in 1762, with revised versions issued in 1764 and 1769, the year the author was drowned at sea, himself the victim of a shipwreck. The work is a supposedly autobiographical account of a shipwreck that occurred while Falconer was serving on a merchant ship in the Levant and that he survived along with two others. In the opinion of DNB, "the popularity of 'The Shipwreck' derives from its unique character as a technically detailed seafaring verse narrative, full of pathos and sublimity, from the pen of a professional sailor." The technical notes Falconer appended to his poem so impressed George Lewis Scott that he proposed that our author compile a nautical dictionary, which was eventually published under the title of "Dictionary of the Marine" and which DNB says "became the standard nautical dictionary until the end of sail." (ST11901)
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PJP Catalog: 63.044