Octavo (180 x 115 mm.), full contemporary green calf, gilt title to upper board, spine with gilt ruled compartments, gilt title, light wear. With 1 large folding engraved general map, engraved title page, Advertisement dated 1827 with Contents on the verso (small tear), Directions, Index paginated 129-207 with advert on verso of final leaf and 42 pages of three engraved road strips each, 1 map of the Isle of Wight, small binders tear to general map, otherwise in good condition.
Charles Smith (fl.1799-1852) is perhaps best known for the ‘New English Atlas’ first published in 1804. A handsome work, Smith went on to specialise in British publications. In 1822 he published a quarto sized version of the atlas. The scarcity of the work indicates that it was not a great success. In 1826, he published ‘Smith’s New Pocket Companion to the Roads’, the work offered here is the fourth edition of 1832. From the second edition the original typographic title was replaced with an engraved one. It was based on the road strips of John Ogilby and here 3 strips appear to the page. They are like those of Laurie and Whittle in that the point of origin for each plate’s measurement is at the foot of each plate. They were all engraved by James Gardner (fl.1822-50), who had already engraved the quarto county maps for Smith in 1822. The names of the towns in capital letters bear the distance in miles from London. Other stagecoach stops are indicated in lower case similarly accompanied by mileages. Other places enroute are indicated in italic. There were two further editions of the ‘Pocket Companion’ appearing in 1833 and 1835. The scarcity of the work indicates that it was not a great success when measured against the main competition of the day, Laurie and Whittle’s ‘New Traveller’s Companion’. Provenance: AbeBooks 2017; private English collection. Bennett (1996) p. 120; Carroll (1996) Appendix 18; refer Chubb (1927) 402 (does not record any other edition than first); Fordham (1924) p. 60; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).