(London: Henry Colburn, 1827). 213 x 132 mm. (8 1/2 x 5 1/4"). Five volumes. Edited from the original manuscripts by William Bray and William Upcott.
VERY ATTRACTIVE CONTEMPORARY CAT'S-PAW CALF, covers with gilt-roll frame (lower edges renewed, with similar modern gilt roll), expertly rebacked to period style, smooth spines lavishly gilt in compartments with central floral spray within a lozenge of small tools, curling cornerpieces, two brown morocco labels, blind-rolled turn-ins, renewed marbled endpapers, all edges marbled. With nine engraved plates, two of them folding, and with a folding genealogical table, all as called for in Keynes. Keynes 134. Two-inch dark brown mark to rear board of volume IV, covers elsewhere with two small patches of lost patina and two faint scratches, a couple of quires a little proud, but an excellent set with only minor imperfections, the text clean, fresh, and bright, and the expertly restored bindings entirely sound and very attractive on the shelf.
This is a very pleasantly bound copy of the journals and personal correspondence of John Evelyn (1620-1706), compiled from the original manuscripts preserved at his estate, the editing being done (in the words of an admiring Geoffrey Keynes) "according to a standard of scholarship long obsolete." Although Evelyn published a number of important books on architecture, arboriculture, gardening, and navigation during his lifetime, the work for which he is best remembered is this memoir, published more than 100 years after his death. First printed in 1818, and expanded with additional letters and papers in 1819, it covers his entire life and is highlighted by accounts of his Continental travels and by brilliant descriptions of his contemporaries. Of special interest is his recounting of the Great London Fire of 1666, which he watched from his home on the south bank of the Thames—a captivating contrast to Pepys' account from the front lines. DNB notes that his letters "reflected and extended the social and scientific interchange of his time." Our set, reprinting the text of the 1819 edition, comprises three volumes of the diary and two volumes of correspondence, and is illustrated with plates depicting key people--Evelyn, his wife Mary, and his father-in-law, Sir Richard Browne--as well as views of his Surrey home, interior and exterior views of Wotton Church, and the Evelyns' tombs in that sanctuary. (ST16213)
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PJP Catalog: 77.121