240 Fine Steel Engravings of British NotablesEdmund Lodge. Portraits of Illustrious Personages of Great Britain. Engraved from Authentic Pictures in the Galleries of the Nobility and the Public Collections of the Country. With Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Their Lives and Actions by Edmund Lodge, Esq. F.S.A. London: Printed for Harding, Mavor and Lepard, 1823-1834.
First edition. Twelve octavo volumes in six, complete. Illustrated with 240 fine steel-engraved portraits after original paintings by Holbein, Vandyke, and others; each portrait accompanied by a short biography.
Half green morocco, gilt spines, gilt rules, all edges gilt. Marbled endpapers. Minor wear and bumping to all volumes; top edge of the rear board most noticeably bumped. All spines faded to an olive green. Volume III/IV with some dampstaining bloom to cloth of front board. Light foxing throughout, most prominent on outer leaves; foxing a bit more pronounced in Volume IX/X. Bookplate to each front pastedown. Tight and generally bright. Overall, an attractive set in very good or better condition.
Subjects include Walter Scott, Mary Stuart, Isaac Newton, Oliver Cromwell, Queen Elizabeth, et al. The April 1839 issue of London's The Gentleman's Magazine, in an obituary of Edmund Lodge, praises his biographic essays from this work as "a model of biographical composition. Though a political bias may be discovered in those exquisite Memoirs, they are almost unrivaled in original conception of character, profound knowledge of human nature, felicity of expression, which united the extraordinary power, terseness, and beauty of style, render the volumes an ornament to our literature, and altogether worthy of the great personages who are there revived in their authentic and striking effigies."
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