THE BOOK OF THE HOUSE OF COLEPORT, WHICH LIETH BY THE SEA.

(Chester: Printed by Edward Thomas for Private Circulation only, 1898). 200 x 157 mm. (7 7/8 x 6 1/4"). LXXIII, [1] pp. (plus 23 blank leaves inserted by the binder). Second Edition, expanded.

Attractive red goatskin, recently bound by Robert Lyon (see below), covers with single gilt-ruled border, raised bands, compartments with gilt tooling and two morocco labels (one black and one brown) with gilt lettering, Japanese paper endpapers. With a Christmas greeting from the author, a leaf of "Fore-words," and an ALS from the author, dated 1899, tipped-in at front; binder's invoice for $388, dated 1991, laid in at front. A handful of leaves at the front with a thin and very light dampstain along edge of top margin, a touch of offsetting on title page, otherwise in excellent condition and in a pristine binding.

Written from the point of view of an architect, this is a handsome copy of a satirical work decrying the trials and tribulations of erecting public buildings. Architect Thomas Lockwood (1830-1900) worked primarily out of Chester, England, near the Welsh border, and the present work centers around his plans for a new Town Hall in Newport, South Wales (the name has been changed here to "Coleport"). According to Lockwood's preface, this work was intended as a "harmless joke," recording the difficulties of dealing with the local Council and written "as a relaxation during a troublesome and harassing period of professional business." First published in 1883 while the building was still a work in progress, this second edition was issued over 10 years after construction had been completed, and it includes three new chapters about the final phases of its development.
(ST13599-36)