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COLLINS, William, Sons & Company

Collins' Series of Atlases. Atlas of England and Wales, containing Maps of all the Counties

William Collins, Sons & Company, London, 1877
Octavo (185 x 120 mm.), full contemporary green cloth, ornate blind panelled boards with decorative central gilt title to upper board, later endpapers. With typographic title, Preface with Contents on the verso and 43 maps comprising one general and 42 maps of English and Welsh counties, all in full colour, Yorkshire folding with small split, otherwise in good condition.
William Collins (1789-1853) founded his business in Glasgow which was continued by his son, also William (1817-95). The latter was knighted in 1881. As the Preface to the book explains the maps were first issued as a series of ‘County Geographies’ from about 1873 (the accession date at the British Library), but ‘it occurred to the publishers that the Maps alone, published in a convenient form and at a reasonable price, might be acceptable to the public at large.’ The atlas commences in the north with Northumberland and works its way south at Surrey before covering the Welsh counties. A few combine counties into one map. Each bears a plate number in varying positions outside the border and the imprint below of Collins. The mapmaker is Edward Weller whose name is found in the titles to their first issue as ‘County Geographies’. There is also an undated issue of the atlas, their priority is unknown. The British Library received its undated copy on 14 June 1877, the Preface here is dated May 1877. Provenance: pencil inscription on first free endpaper of ‘John Brewster’. Burgess (2009) 181A; Carroll (1996) 131.C; Hodson (1974) 120B.
Stock number: 9961

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