(London: Richard Bentley, 1852). 225 x 140 mm. (8 3/4 x 5 1/2"). Two volumes. FIRST EDITION.

ATTRACTIVE LATER SKY BLUE CRUSHED MOROCCO BY BAYNTUN OF BATH for bookseller Charles E. Lauriat Co. of Boston (stamp-signed on front turn-in), covers with frame of black and gilt rules cinched in the center of each side by a decorative quatrefoil, raised bands, spine compartments framed by black and gilt rules, gilt titling, turn-ins ruled in gilt and black with decorative cornerpieces, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. With hand-colored frontispiece portrait of the duchess, and EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED WITH 101 PORTRAITS AND VIEWS, 20 of the portraits hand colored. Front pastedowns with the bookplate of Joel Cheney Wells, designed by Elisha Brown Bird. Spines uniformly faded further toward gray than blue, isolated trivial defects internally, otherwise A VERY PLEASING COPY, entirely clean and fresh internally, and in bindings with quite lustrous covers and virtually no signs of use.

This biography of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette's eldest daughter--who was queen of France for about 20 minutes--is enhanced by copious extra-illustrations and by an elegant binding from Bayntun. In addition to hand-colored portraits of Marie, Louis, Lord Nelson, Edmund Burke, Samuel Johnson, and Hester Lynch Thrale, there are dramatic engravings depicting key scenes from the French Revolution, some of these double-page. The only member of Louis XVI's immediate family to survive the Reign of Terror, Marie Thérèse Charlotte eventually married her cousin the Duc d'Angoulême, and was technically queen of France for a brief moment in August of 1830, while abdication papers were signed by her father-in-law Charles X and then by her husband following the July Revolution that ended the Bourbon restoration. A collector of decorative bindings, previous owner Joel Cheney Wells (1874-1960) was instrumental in building the American Optical Company into a major American institution, was co-founder of Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts, and was a director at the Old Colony Trust Company of Boston, at Rolls Royce, and elsewhere.