Sketches of the country, character, and costume, in Portugal and Spain, made during the campaign, and on the route of the British Army, in 1808 and 1809. Engraved and coloured from the drawings by the Rev. William Bradford, A.B. . . . With incidental illustration, and appropriate descriptions, of each subject.

London, John Booth, 1809[–10].

Two parts in one volume, folio, ff. [ii], 38; 8; with an engraved frontispiece and 53 hand-coloured aquatint plates (watermarked 1807 and 1808) by J. Clark after Bradford and H. Michel; bound without the divisional title to the supplementary part (Military costume) and without the unlisted plate ‘Toro from the River Douro’ (as usual), but with the frontispiece of the monument to Sir John Moore at Corunna (not always present); some very minor foxing and marginal soiling, two very small dark spots on first plate, a few small marginal adhesions in margins of plate 16, but a very good copy in contemporary diced Russia, gilt, title in gilt on upper cover; slightly rubbed and scratched, rebacked preserving spine (worn and chipped); from the library of Ian Robertson (1928–2020).

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Sketches of the country, character, and costume, in Portugal and Spain, made during the campaign, and on the route of the British Army, in 1808 and 1809. Engraved and coloured from the drawings by the Rev. William Bradford, A.B. . . . With incidental illustration, and appropriate descriptions, of each subject.

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First edition, early issue, of this splendid work, the first English work on Spain and Portugal to be illustrated with aquatint plates. Bradford’s work enjoyed considerable popularity in the aftermath of the Peninsular War, with further issues appearing in 1812, 1813, and 1823.

William Bradford (1779/80–1857), of St. John’s College Oxford, was chaplain to a brigade which anchored off the coast of Portugal on 25 August 1808. His drawings chart the course of the army through Portugal and northern Spain during the autumn and winter of that year, and he was among those chaplains who retreated to Corunna with Sir John Moore’s army in January of 1809. Bradford had three brothers who also served in the Peninsula campaign.

Bradford’s Sketches was first published in 1809–10 in 24 separate parts, and then again in 1810 in book form. The uncoloured frontispiece of the monument to Sir John Moore at Corunna, present here, seems not to be present in copies bound from parts (see Abbey). Nevertheless, the present copy comprises plates watermarked 1807 and 1808, as do copies bound from parts. The plates depict Torres Vedras, Cintra, Lisbon, the aqueduct at Alcantara, Salamanca, Toro, Villafranca del Bierzo, as well as numerous costumes, both civilian and military.

Provenance: Katherine Annabella Bisshopp (1791–1871), with her ownership inscription dated February 1817 on front pastedown, and with Castle Goring bookplate. Bisshopp was the daughter and coheir of Sir Cecil Bisshopp, 8th Baronet of Parham and, from 1815, 12th Baron Zouche of Haryngworth, and Harriet Anne Southwell. In 1826 she married Vice-Admiral Sir George Richard Brooke-Pechell, 4th Baronet, of Castle Goring in Sussex.

Abbey, Travel 135; Colas 421; Palau 34386; Prideaux p. 328; Tooley 107 (with title dated 1810).

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