The Biographical Magazine; or, Complete Historical Library. A Work Replete with Instruction and Entertainment, and Accompanied with Such Embellishments As Have Not Hitherto Appeared in Any Publication of Europe. By a Society of Gentlemen...
London: printed for F. Newbery, 1776.. Quarto. [iv], 812 [i.e. 808, [ii]pp.] A2-Z2, AA2-ZZ2, AAA2-ZZZ2, AAAA2-ZZZZ2, AAAAA2-ZZZZZ2, AAAAAA2-ZZZZZZ2, AAAAAAA2-ZZZZZZZ2, AAAAAAAA2-ZZZZZZZZ2, AAAAAAAAA2-UUUUUUUUU2. With a final leaf of errata. Pages 453-456 omitted. Modern half calf over marbled boards. With portraits. Roscoe, A39; ESTC T98528. Even though a number of British libraries have copies of this book, only a handful institutions in the US have it. Illustrated with small circular portraits, I have not been able to find a bibliography noting all the peculiarities of this work. Since it was published in parts (per ESTC), there is nothing to determine the number of plates that are supposed to be present. I have not had access to Roscoe's book, 'John Newbery and his successors,' which may possess the information I am lacking. I contacted an institutional library and asked specifically (a) how many plates there were and (b) whether each author had a corresponding portrait. They provided the following information: (a) there are 27 engraved portraits, and (b) each author does not have a corresponding portrait, inclusive of the portrait of the King and Queen. The portraits are small oval portraits set in the centre of a full-page and engraved on much thicker paper than paper used for the book. My copy differs slightly from this institutional library copy and considerably from the digitized University of Pittsburgh copy, which has only 19 portraits, inclusive of the royal portraits. The portrait of the King is cut out in my copy, but mounted on similarly thick paper; the Queen's portrait is missing, and there are 26 portraits of authors. These differences lead me to believe that this book, originally printed in parts, was compiled and gathered together based on the whims of the bookseller and the collector. A very good copy.
Sam Gatteño BooksProfessional seller
Book number: 2533
USD 3500.00 [Appr.: EURO 2995.5 | £UK 2661.75 | JP¥ 392529]
Keywords: Eighteenth Century Books Illustrated Books