Octavo (160 x 110 mm.), CONTEMPORARY SOFT RED MOROCCO WRAP, with flap and retainer, old pencil, marbled endpapers and two pockets, ornate blind work inside cover, original page marker, light wear. With engraved title page, Advertisement, Contents and 43 engraved maps, that of Yorkshire folding, backed on linen and in the final pocket, all in early outline colour, pp. 8 Index with ‘Maps Printed for John Cary’ on the verso, small tear to title page, otherwise in good condition.
This is the FIRST EDITION of the smallest of three English county atlases produced by John Cary. The ‘Advertisement’ for ‘Cary’s New Itinerary’ for 1802 described it as being an abridgement of the ‘New and Correct English Atlas’ of 1787-89. The immense success of that work clearly encouraged Cary to issue a smaller, pocket size version for the traveller. It was designed to be of use to them on the widening network of turnpike roads. Travel is at the core of each of the maps, the clear feature of each is the road network. The Advertisement at the beginning stated his intent, ‘With an anxious desire to render this work useful to travellers, the Proprietor has paid every attention to accuracy, and in the endeavour to render it of real utility …’
On each map Cary is prominently identified as the engraver. Above the title on each map may be found a compass rose with the points of the compass, these indicate the orientation of the map. In the border below are found a list of distances to London from key towns and cities found within. The seven-page Index at the end compacts a considerable amount of information. The market days for each town are given, borough towns are marked with an asterisk with the number of their representatives given in brackets. Cities and universities are given in capital letters. As might be expected a clear and detailed method. The work proved extremely popular. So much so that not one, but two, entirely new series of copper plates were produced during the lifetime of the work as the plates themselves wore out. The book is found in two formats, printed on thin paper on one side only as here and printed on thicker paper back-to-back. Provenance: pencil notes of a journey inscribed on final free endpaper dated ‘Apr. 29 1745’; Dominic Winter auction 14 November 2012 lot 59; private English collection. Chubb (1927) 273; ESTC N26945; Fordham (1924) p. 40; Fordham (1925a) pp. 35-7; Shirley (2004) T.Cary 3a; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).