A civil, commercial, political, and literary history of Spain and Portugal.

London, R. Faulder (and others), 1793.

Two vols. bound in one, folio, pp. [iv], 590; [iv], 218; a few leaves slightly toned or spotted, but a very good copy; contemporary marbled calf, spine gilt; spine and extremities very rubbed, dig in spine, upper cover becoming detached; from the library of Ian Robertson (1928–2020).


US $1600€1418

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First edition of a substantial compendium of short dissertations on the history and contemporary state of Spain and Portugal. Summaries of geography, mythic history, numismatics, military orders and the legislature are accompanied by such essays as ‘Of the original and modern languages’, ‘Of the laws of Spain’, ‘Of the commerce and products of Spain’, ‘A list of the land and naval forces of the king of Spain’, ‘Of the state of literature, and men of learning in Spain’ (including a five-page bibliography), and ‘A description of the Spaniards dress, customs, diversions, marriages, and funerals’.

Wyndham Beawes was British consul at Cádiz and Seville for almost three decades. He was well-known for his Lex mercatoria rediviva: or, the merchant’s directory (1754), a standard work which went through several editions in the eighteenth century.

Provenance: the Tory politician Edward Miller Mundy (1750–1822), with bookplate. ‘In 1784 Mundy was nominated for Derbyshire as the candidate of the country gentlemen, and returned without a contest. He voted for parliamentary reform, 18 Apr. 1785, but opposed Pitt on Richmond’s fortifications plan, 27 Feb. 1786, and on the Regency’ (History of Parliament online).

Kress B.2451; Palau 26185. Not in Goldsmiths’. See Robertson, Los curiosos impertinentes (1992) p. 44.

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