Octavo (150 x 120 mm.), contemporary half red calf, with marbled paper boards, spine with raised bands, central gilt star to each compartment, gilt ruled bands, gilt title. Typographic title with a woodcut vignette, 1 leaf of adverts, folding general map in early wash colour, further typographic title as above, pp. (4), (viii), 86, (70), (28) with 49 further maps (3 folding), Index general map opposite ‘Reference to the Maps’ numbered ‘0’, maps numbered to 47 including 40 counties, 3 of Yorkshire Ridings, Lake District, South Scotland, North and South Wales and the Isle of Thanet unnumbered but ’48’ in the list of contents, otherwise in good condition.
A fine road book featuring a complete set of English county maps by Charles Cooke (1750-1816). The plates are similar to those in Wallis’s ‘New Pocket Edition’ of c.1812. He was a bookseller who succeeded his father in Paternoster Row around 1789. The maps were originally published in ‘Cooke’s Modern British Traveller’ of 1802-10 with text written by George Alexander Cooke. They were not related. It was issued in 25 volumes. Following Charles Cooke’s death in 1816 the plates were published by Sherwood, Neely and Jones in ‘Topography of Great Britain or British Traveller’s Directory’ in 1817. The text was updated and published ‘by Assignment from the Executors of the late C Cooke’.
George Carrington Gray’s ‘Book of Roads’ was available according to the initial title page ‘Price Seven Shillings Bound; or, With a Series of Maps, Forming a Complete County Atlas, Twelve Shillings Bound’. This also includes a nice little vignette scene of a rider paying at a toll-gate. With extensive details of the roads followed by the county atlas and an Index. The maps are unaltered from earlier issues beyond the addition of a plate number. About the compiler Gray, little is known. The Preface states that he is aware of the ‘two books of established reputation on the subject, those of Paterson and Carey’. He goes on to state that ‘a third book … may also possess advantages, exclusively its own’. There follows an extensive description of these beginning ‘we are enabled to concentrate and bring under the immediate notice of the traveller, at one reference from the General Index, the various lines of route leading to any required point of distance …’ Provenance: inscription of ‘John Patton. Holly House Sidcup 1884’ on advert leaf; ‘Stephen Shearman 14.7.2003’ written in gutt of same leaf; Francis Edwards, Hay-on-Wye; private English collection. Carroll (1996) no. 63; Chubb (1927) 392; Fordham (1924) p. 58; Tooley’s Dictionary (1999-2004).