4to., (13 ¼ x 11 inches). List of subscribers (occasional spotting throughout). Full-page engraved "Plan of Westminster Abbey"; hand-colored aquatint frontispieces; aquatint portrait of the author on India paper (offsetting to facing page); 79 hand-colored aquatint plates, watermarked 1808 and 1811 (some offsetting, a few spots). Full red straight-grained morocco, elaborately tooled in gilt, the spines in six compartments, with five raised bands, gilt-lettered in two and gilt-decorated in the rest, inner dentelles, all edges gilt (front board of volume two is detached; front hinge of volume one is cracked but holding).
Provenance: Bookplates of John Whiting and Helen Otillie Friel to front pastedowns.
First edition, second issue, with the plate entitled "Aymer de Valance" in volume II signed "A. Pugin" and plates with watermarks dated 1808 and 1811. Ackermann was a "printseller, bookseller, publisher, inventor, businessman" who "popularized aquatint, lithography, and illustrated books from his vast London publishing house, R. Ackermann, and the Repository of Arts shop... Ackermann built a successful business on innovative printing technology and capitalized on current movements in politics and culture but never seemed to personally subscribe to political views himself. Doubtless Ackermann was instrumental to London's publishing history especially the advancement of illustrated books..." (Katherine D. Harris for the Encyclopedia of Romantic Literature I:15).