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BOSWELL, Henry

The Antiquities of England and Wales

Alexander Hogg, at the King's Arms, No. 16, Paternoster-Row, and Sold by all Booksellers, Printsellers, and News-Carriers, in Town and Country, London, c.1787-89
Folio (385 x 250 mm.), full old mottled calf, gilt panel with circles for corners, spine with raised bands, triple gilt line ruled compartments with dotted line borders, gilt date and title, decorative endpapers. With engraved frontispiece dated 25 November 1786, recto blank, typographic title page, pp. 2 Preface signed by Boswell, pp. 4 List of Subscribers, extensive text without pagination, pp. 4 Index List of the Plates, numerous copper plate engravings (c.195) and 50 maps including 40 of the English counties, maps of South Wales, North Wales and 8 further plates of maps of the Scottish districts and Irish provinces.
FIRST EDITION. Alexander Hogg (fl.1778-1809) began working for John Cooke who was a major publisher of serialised part works. In 1778, he started out on his own in competition. Adams stated, ‘a favourite pastime of both Cooke and Hogg was the invention of elegant aliases for the authorship of their topographical “sixpenny numbers” which must in fact have owed their existence to the attic labours of a consortium of sweated Grub Street hacks’. These writers compiled these works by plagiarising existing publications and offering them as weekly parts of 6d. The original title page stated that this work was ‘published under the inspection of Henry Boswell, Esq. F.A.R.S. Assisted by Robert Hamilton, L.L.D.’ Cooke publicly accused Hogg of fabrication when he announced in ‘The World’ 1-2 October 1788 that there was no Henry Boswell at the F.R.A.S. (Fellows of the Royal and Antiquarian Societies). Although Hogg defended other charges, he never denied this one.

‘The Antiquities of England and Wales’ is effectively an abridgement of the six volumes published by Francis Grose. Hodson writes that Hogg had taken over the ‘London Magazine’ after the publication of the volume for January to June 1785. It was at this point that no doubt he also became the owner of the copper plates by Kitchen used in 1747-63 to illustrate a set of English and Welsh counties. The parts for Hogg’s work were first advertised on the verso of the title to the third volume of the ‘New London Magazine’ for 1787 and published in January 1788. Ten numbers were available at the price of 6d. each. This would indicate initial publication of the weekly sometime in October 1787. The one hundred parts were completed early as the ‘Glocester Journal’ of 16 February 1789 announced that the completed work was available ‘elegantly bound in calf and lettered, price 3l.’

Of the 50 plates, 40 are of English counties, all but one were originally published in the ‘London Magazine’. All references to the work are removed. Those of Yorkshire, North and South Wales, the Orkney’s etc and Ulster were all previously published in Hogg’s ‘New British Traveller’ in 1784. Those of the remainder of Ireland and Scotland were engraved on 6 new plates. This example is bound such that the maps follow the descriptions and illustrations of the Antiquities. Each map is accompanied by a single leaf of descriptive text, the two maps of North and South Wales follow. Then the Scottish and Irish sections follow. Both the Index and Subscribers List are present which is not always the case. The Index to the plates in the work is broken down in to the 100 parts issued. The list of names on the Subscribers List on inspection appears to be quite genuine. Provenance: Acquired Christie’s London 28 February 1968 as lot 81 by Meredith for £75; private English collection. Adams (1983) p. xv; Chubb (1927) 257; ESTC T122443; Hodson (1984-97) 281; Shirley (2004) G.Hogg 2a; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).
Stock number: 9216

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