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FOWLES, JOSEPH. - Sydney in 1848: Illustrated by copper-plate engravings of the principal streets, public buildings, churches, chapels, etc., from drawings ...

Sydney, printed by D. Wall ... published by J. Fowles [1848-49]. Quarto contemporary half straight grain calf and marbled sides (much of the spine missing but still solid); 40 plates. Browning and offsetting - the street elevations are most affected - and some minor signs of use but a very decent copy. One of the minor signs of use in this copy can be counted as a bonus: someone has neatly annotated several plates in pencil, identifying and updating the names and owners of various buildings. These annotations look to be about forty years later. ¶ First edition and bound from parts; this was issued in twenty fortnightly parts and as a book on completion. The last time I checked there was one known complete set in parts. This copy is without the advertisement leaf which, in the incomplete set of parts in the Mitchell Library, came with part four. Fowles is celebrated for his pictorial record of a Sydney - a charming Georgian colonial town - not fictional but understandably positive; this is not social reform. But the book is also a surprisingly good read. He has an often breezy style and does not shy from expressing opinion. There is a laconic account of the burning of the old Royal Hotel and the providential arrival of officers straight from the governor's ball: "by levelling several tenements .. Lieut. Lugard, in all probability, saved the Victoria theatre". His description of Hughes' new Royal is equally amusing. Everyone called this a rare and invaluable book, from Ferguson to Wantrup, who in 1987 noted this as "a rare book [which] might, with patience, be obtained for about $4000" (Australian Rare Books). Even booksellers offering reprints without doing their homework call it rare and invaluable. If you've been patiently waiting since 1987 to prove Wantrup wrong now's your chance.
AUD 3000.00 [Appr.: EURO 1882.75 US$ 2135.04 | £UK 1607.75 | JP¥ 238160] Book number 8671

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