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CAMDEN, William

Britannia: or, a Chorographical Description of the Flourishing Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the Islands Adjacent; from the Earliest Antiquity. By William Camden. Translated from the Edition Published by the Author in MDCVII [1607]. Enlarged by the Latest Discoveries, By Richard Gough, F. A. & R. SS.

J. Nichols for T. Payne & Son, G.G.J. & J. Robinson, London, 1789
Folio, three volumes (440 x 270 mm. each), full contemporary calf, worn, rebacked with gilt ruled compartments, gilt calf title and volume labels to each. With portrait of the author, 4 plates of coins, circa 90 plates of antiquities, 52 general and county maps, 8 others mostly folding by John Cary, folding letterpress genealogy, errata leaves, some light offsetting as often found, otherwise in good condition.
The first edition of Richard Gough’s translation of William Camden’s original classic work. Gough (1735-1809) was a noted antiquarian and collector. His collection survives today at the Bodleian Library in Oxford and it is considered one of the premier sources of British cartographic material. The ‘Gough’ map is its most noted possession. Robert Morden’s publication of William Camden first issued in 1695 had last been issued in 1772 and a fresh translation from the original Latin text was deemed essential by Gough. The undertaking began in 1773 and it took him seven years to translate and assimilate his own research. ‘As well as visiting every county himself, he called upon a network of antiquarian friends and correspondents to seek out information, check proofs, and offer suggestions’ (ODNB).

For a set of maps to illustrate the work he turned to the John Cary (1755-1835) who was having success with the ‘New and Correct English Atlas’ of 1787. Cary did not rely on any one particular source and appears to have utilised many of the prior large-scale county maps which had been published. Chubb CCLXXI; Fordham Cary p. 30; ODNB; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).
Stock number: 8813

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