6 vols of 7, 12mo, with 6 frontispieces and 168 plates (the majority folding), publisher’s advertisements of Davis & Reymers; 3 short paper-flaws (affecting one character of text in vol. IV), occasional slight foxing; a good set in contemporary British speckled calf, spines gilt-ruled in compartments with gilt centre-pieces in each, gilt red and green morocco lettering-pieces, edges speckled red, green ribbon place-markers; a little rubbed and lightly bumped with a few chips to end-caps, splits to joints, several hinges reinforced with tissue.
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Spectacle de la nature, or Nature display’d, being Discourses on such Particulars of natural History as were thought most proper to excite the Curiosity and form the Minds of Youth, illustrated with Copper Plates … translated from the original French … the eighth [– fourth; – third] Edition, revised [– revis’d] and corrected.
Scarce ‘eighth edition’ of Pluche’s encyclopaedic discourses on man and nature. ‘Well known by the educated public, the work played an important role in the education of children of wealthy families and was sometimes even used as a textbook of natural science. Le spectacle is explicitly didactic, and for a time Pluche had even thought of calling it “La physique des enfants”. Composed mainly in the form of dialogues between a young nobleman, his parents, and a prior, it is an idealization of Pluche’s activities as tutor to the Stafford family.’ (DSB).
Published in French in eight volumes between 1732 and 1750, the first volume appeared in Humphreys’s English translation in 1733, with new editions and further translations appearing frequently in the following decades, with at times erratic numbering of the editions. The second ‘eighth edition’ (first 1754), the first four present volumes were published in 1757 by a broad consortium of booksellers, before an unknown delay paused printing until 1763, when the project was resumed, with the remaining volumes described as the ‘third’ and ‘fourth’ editions. A seventh volume, on architecture and instructive arts, was published in 1763.
ESTC T131947-T131953 (without T131949, vol. VII).
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AGRICULTURE AND POPULATION WALKER, John.
An economical History of the Hebrides and Highlands of Scotland ... in two Volumes ... Edinburgh: Printed at the University Press; 1808.
First edition. The eminent naturalist John Walker (1731-1803), professor of natural history in the University of Edinburgh (Smollett was one of his students) and keeper of the university museum, made six long journeys into the Highlands and Islands from 1760 to 1786. He was commissioned by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland to enquire into the state of religion and by the Commissioners on the Annexed Estates to report on population, agriculture and manufactures. In the course of his travels Walker came to admire the inhabitants but regret that ‘the agriculture of these countries appears to have undergone but little improvement since the æra that domestic cattle and the cultivation of grain were first introduced; which happened probably in the third or fourth century’.