Quarto (255 x 165 mm.), recent half calf, with marbled paper boards, spine with gilt title, in a recent solander box. With engraved title page, folding general map, map of the Turnpike Gates, both in early wash colour, Explanation and Advertisement leaf, and 80 strip road maps on 40 sheets all in early wash colour. Engraved throughout, with some very minor foxing, complete with original endpapers, in good condition.
An example of the FIRST EDITION on LARGE PAPER. John Cary (c.1754-1835) and descendants were possibly the most prolific publishers of cartography around the turn of the nineteenth century. Cary is noted for the clarity of detail in his maps and was the first to use the Greenwich meridian. In 1794, he was commissioned by the Postmaster-General to survey the roads of Great Britain. Cary had already published road books; indeed, his first publication is one showing the roads between London and Falmouth in 1784. In 1790 Cary published his ‘Survey of the High Roads’ from London which contained twelve routes from the town and eighteen cross roads. All the plates are in lovely early colour and display a wealth of information. It was particularly pointed out by Cary that the country houses along the route could be seen from certain vantage points which are marked out on the maps. It was reissued unaltered in 1799, in 1801 and again in 1810. There were no further editions. Provenance: manuscript inscription to title of ‘R. Harries Jr’?; bookplate of Taylor inside front cover; Clarendon Books; private English collection. Beresiner (1983) pp. 80-2; Fordham (1925) pp. 40-1; Fordham (1924) p. 40; Shirley (2004) T.Cary 4a.