PENNANT, Thomas (1726 – 1798). Some Account of London, Extra Illustrated. London: J. Faulder et al., 1813.
8vo. (9 1/2 x 6 in.) Two volumes, extra-illustrated with more than 300 portraits, views, and maps. Full 20th century brown morocco gilt by Bayntun. Spine in six gilt and tooled compartments; five raised bands; tooled hinge and board. (Scattered light foxing and offsetting, occasional minor marginal damp staining, minor abrasions to back board of the second volume).
Provenance: The Estate of David Spinney.
Thomas Pennant’s "London" quickly became one of the most popular and oft-cited works of its time, and has remained an enduring classic. Pennant's 'Of London' was initially issued in 1790 and became 'Some account of London’.
Pennant (1726-1798) was a Welsh naturalist, traveler, writer and antiquarian. Being Welsh, had an outsider's eye in his writing, but travelled often enough to London to have acquired first-hand knowledge, and his account of the city is written with his characteristic dry wit. He was born and lived his whole life at his family estate, Downing Hall near Whitford, Flintshire. An authority no less than Samuel Johnson once said of Pennant, in a moment of rare unmitigated praise: "… he's the best traveler I ever read; he observes more things than anyone else does." And in 1777, Johnson said to Boswell "Our ramble in the islands hangs upon my imagination. I can hardly help imagining that we shall go again. Pennant seems to have seen a great deal which we did not see. When we travel again let us look better about us.”.
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