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TRESHAM, Henry (1750/51--1814)
Britannicus to Buonaparte. An heroic epistle, with notes. By Henry Tresham, Esq. R.A.
London: printed by W. Bulmer and Co., for the author; and sold by J. Hatchard; and all the other booksellers, 1803.
[2], vii, [1], 43, [1] p., hand-col. frontis. ; 22.9 cm. (4º)

The title-page epigraph is from Shakespeare 'Taunt him with the licence of ink'. This satire is in the mainstream of contemporary caricature of Napoleon at the time of a threatened French invasion following the resumption of war after the brief peace of the Treaty of Amiens. It stands primarily by the freedom of the (British) press in contrast to the fate of Jean Peltier, publisher of the irregular periodical L'Ambigu and subject to a libel action pursued by Bonaparte. The satirical frontispiece is etched by Gillray from an original by Tresham, an artist and dealer who resided in Rome between 1775 and 1789, where he met Soane in the winter of 1779/80 during the latter's travelling studentship in Italy. Tresham later supported Soane's candidacy for the professorship at the Royal Academy; he was one of the artists engaged in Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery project and was engaged also by the Longmans to edit the engravings from the works of the ancient masters in the collections of the British nobility and gentry for their British gallery of pictures, 1818. Tresham's critical acquaintance with the history of the fine arts was very extensive, and he was generally regarded as the highest authority of his day on all matters of vertu.

Binding Later C19th half mauve calf, blind roll-tooled borders, marbled-paper boards, gilt double-ruled spine. Bound by George Richmond for 2s., 22 August 1853. (Curatorial Papers/Bailey/Parcel 1).

Reference Number 690


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