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LEWIS, William

Lewis's New Traveller's Guide, or a Pocket Edition of the English Counties. Containing all the Direct & Cross Roads in England & Wales

W. Lewis, No. 21 Finch Lane, Cornhill, London, [1819]
Octavo (150 x 115 mm.), contemporary half red calf, paper boards, publisher’s gilt calf title label affixed to upper board, spine with blind ruled compartments. With general map of England and Wales, engraved title page, Preface dated 1819, Contents, List of Mail-Coaches etc., 40 maps of the counties, North and South Wales as called for, in all 43 maps, each with a page of descriptive text, Yorkshire folding, all in full contemporary wash colour, some even toning and light foxing to the text, Gloucestershire and Oxford text torn, Oxford map with some damage, otherwise a decent example.
This fine little series of maps was first published by James Wallis (fl.1810-25) c.1812 as ‘Wallis’ New Pocket Edition of the English Counties or Traveller’s Companion’. The maps are easily distinguished by the design of the title at the top of the map. They include a wealth of information with a key in the lower margin. A further edition was published c.1814 before they were used in two works by Patrick Martin, as the extremely rare ‘Sportsman’s Almanack and the New Travellers Guide’ which survives in just the one known example.

By 1819 the work was in the hands of William Lewis (fl.1796-1838) who reissued it as ‘Lewis’s New Traveller’s Guide’, reusing the title with its attractive vignette of a coach and four with postillions. Although undated the Preface is signed 16 October 1819. It was first issued with the maps still bearing the imprint of Martin below. This was understandably altered quickly. This however is an early issue with 26 maps retaining the Martin imprint, the remaining being blank. There have been some alterations to many of the maps, roads have been re-engraved, the etching to the coast lines has been removed and many new place-names added. According to the label pasted on the cover it was sold for ’21s’.

It appears that this atlas was on the western front during the first world war. The date on the verso of the title page detailed below would indicate the Battle of Loos, the largest British attack of 1915, which took place between the 26-28 September 1915. It was the first time the British used poison gas. Provenance: with several ownership inscriptions including in red ink inside front cover one in Co. Cork, Ireland; stamp of S. A. Boreham and by hand Mr B Canchett?, nr. Andover, Hants on front free endpaper; on final endpaper H. S. Farmer, Dublin; verso of title ‘Brian C. Boreham 33820?, 1st. Section, Ammunition Column, 4 Brigade … 7th Cavalry Brigade, British Expeditionary Force Sep 27th [19]15’; private English collection. Carroll (1996) 68; Chubb (1927) 364; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).
Stock number: 10241
£ 175
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