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London Henry Colburn, 1825 Hardcover Fair with no dust jacket 
B&W Illustrations; xxvi, 849 pages; 10 x 13", Herbs -- England -- 18th century. Botany. 4 plates. Covers detached. William Upcott was an English librarian and antiquary. Born in Oxfordshire, he was the illegitimate son of Ozias Humphry by Delly Wickens, daughter of an Oxford shopkeeper, called Upcott from the maiden name of Humphry's mother. His father bequeathed to him his miniatures, pictures, drawings, and engravings, as well as correspondence with many leading figures. Upcott was initially a bookseller, at first an assistant of Robert Harding Evans of Pall Mall, and then of John Wright of Piccadilly. While at Wright's shop he attracted the attention of John Ireland, William Gifford, and the writers of the Anti-Jacobin who met there, and he witnessed the scuffle there between Gifford and John Wolcot, helping to eject Wolcot. When Richard Porson was made librarian of the London Institution, Upcott was appointed as his assistant (23 April 1806) , and he continued in the same position under William Maltby. On 30 May 1834 he resigned his office. Upcott spent the rest of his days at 102 Upper Street, Islington. The house in his time was called ‘Autograph Cottage’; among many autographs collected by Upcott was that of William Blake, in 1826, with whom he was on good terms, as his father had been, and made some significant introductions to Blake (Henry Crabb Robinson and Dawson Turner). In imitation of the plan adopted by William Oldys, he fitted up a room with shelves and a hundred receptacles into which he dropped cuttings on different subjects. The Guildhall Library originated in a suggestion by him, and in 1828 he superintended the arrangement of the books in it. Upcott died, unmarried, at Islington on 23 September 1845.Every inch of the walls in his rooms, whether at the London Institution or at home in Islington, was covered with paintings, drawings, and prints, most of them by Thomas Gainsborough or Humphry; all the drawers, shelves, boxes, and cupboards were crammed with his collections. In 1833, while still at the London Institution, he was robbed of the whole of his collection of gold and silver coins and some other curiosities; £500 was voted to him. Upcott's library, books, manuscripts, prints, and drawings were sold by Sotheby at Evans's auction-rooms, 106 New Bond Street (15 June 1846 and following days) , and are said to have realised £4,125 17s. 6d. He owned about 32,000 letters, illustrated by three thousand portraits, many of which were engraved in Charles John Smith's Historical and Literary Curiosities. Many of the autograph letters were bought for the nation, and now form Additional MSS. 15841 to 15957 at the British Museum. The sketch-books of Ozias Humphry (Addit. MSS. 15958–69) were purchased by Thomas Rodd at the sale, but were at once resold to the British Museum. The main parts of Upcott's collections which were not acquired by the British Museum consisted of the correspondence of Ralph Thoresby (which was edited by Joseph Hunter) and of Emanuel da Costa. A large series of autograph letters from Upcott's stores was purchased by Captain Montagu Montagu, R. N. , and left by him at his death in 1863 to the Bodleian Library. Many of Humphry's works passed at Upcott's death to his friend, Charles Hampden Turner. In 1836 he privately printed a brief catalogue of the letters, manuscripts, and state papers which he had been collecting for more than twenty-five years, in the hope that they might be bought for some public institution. One of his greatest finds was the original manuscript of Thomas Chatterton's extravaganza ‘Amphitryon, ’ which he chanced upon in the shop of a city cheesemonger. This was purchased by the British Museum in 1841.Upcott published in 1818, in three volumes, a ‘Bibliographical Account of the Principal Works relating to English Topography. ’ It was later largely superseded by the ‘British Topography’ (1881) of John P. Anderson, who refers in his preface to Upcott's ‘excellent catalogue. ’ Upcott revised for the press the first edition of John Evelyn's Diary, brought out by William Bray in 1818, and for the edition of 1827 he collated the copy with the original manuscript at Wotton and made corrections. In 1825 he further edited Evelyn's ‘Miscellaneous Writings. ’ He reprinted in 1814 Andrew Borde's ‘Boke of the Introduction of Knowledge, ’ and in 1819 Edmund Carter's ‘History of the County of Cambridge. ’Robert Southey was indebted to Upcott for the transcript of Thomas Malory's ‘King Arthur’ (1817). Upcott corrected it for the press. He took an active part in the publication of the ‘Garrick Correspondence, ’ and in the preparation of the ‘Catalogue of the London Institution, ’ and assisted in compiling the ‘Biographical Dictionary’ of 1816. (Information courtesy of Wikipedia). Contents: Of liberty and servitude, tr. Of ... De La Mothe le Vayer. --The state of France. --The golden book of St. John Chrysostom, concerning the education of children. --A character of England. --An analogy for the royal party. --The late news from Brussels unmasked. --Sculpturs. --The epistles dedicatory prefixed to the translation of "Parallel between antient and modern archtecture" ... By Ronald Freart, sieur de Chambray. --An account of architects and architecture. --Kalendarium hortense. --Public employment ... Prefer'd to solitude. --An idea of the perfection of printing. --The history of the three late famous impostors; viz. Padre Ottomano, Mahomed Bei, and Sabatai Sevi. --Navigation and commerce. --Mundus muliebris ... Together with the fop-dictionary. --Acetaria: a discourse of sallets. Condition / Notes: This antique volume, in publisher's covers, has detached boards and a cracked spine cover, with portions detaching from the rear edge. The covers display rubbing and loss at the outside corners. The spine has a printed paper label. The bookplate of the Western Reserve Historical Society appears on the front pastedown. The text block is intact. The title page has library stamps. The pages exhibit light foxing, concentrated at the edges. This work is illustrated with three engraved frontispiece plates and a portrait plate. All these plates have an embossed library stamp within the image. This is an exceptionally wide-margined copy. This work possesses a general index. 36845 
Price: 141.00 USD
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