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OAKLEY, Benjamin (1766--1844)
Letters on miscellaneous and domestic subjects: intended for the use of the writer's family, and a few select friends.
London: printed by J. Moyes, 1823.
xii, 384 p., litho. frontis. port., [14] litho. ports. ; 25.3 cm. (8°)

'Only Fifty Copies printed'. With fifteen portrait lithographs by the author, that of himself as the frontispiece, all protected by tissue-guards. There are two letters from Oakley to Soane included in the collection (pp. 124 and 245); the one with condolences on the death of Mrs Soane is reproduced by Bolton with a brief note on Oakley and his associations with Soane, describing the letters as 'of the heavy-father type and distinctly dull'. See A.T. Bolton, The portrait of Sir John Soane, R.A. (London 1927), pp. 208--9. Bolton reproduces three other letters from Oakley to Soane (pp. 439--40, 451--2 and 528--9; other letters are in the SM Archive, Priv. Corr. II.O.1), but not the second one from this volume which accompanied Oakley's 'observations upon my late ramble to Ireland', dated 15 January 1820. Benjamin Oakley was a stockbroker with a taste for private theatricals, drawing and lithography. His enthusiasm for Shakespeare was shared with Soane and their mutual friend John Britton (q.v.). The printer James Moyes, also Soane's printer, was Oakley's son-in-law. Substantive research on Oakley was compiled by Julia Hoffbrand in 2001 and is included in the museum inventory file.

Copy Notes Inscribed in ink on the title-page To / John Soane Esq / from his friend the / Author. In addition to the copies of his two books, Oakley also gave Soane a watercolour drawing of a sea view (SM Inv. P354).

Binding Publisher's original C19th marbled-paper case binding, printed paper spine-label reading 'Letters by Oakley'.

Reference Number 910


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