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BRITTON, John (1771--1857)
[Illustrations of the public buildings of London. Selections]
Essays descriptive of the buildings of the Bank of England; the Law Courts, Westminster; the Scala Regia, and royal gallery to the House of Lords; and of the Council Office and Board of Trade, Parliament Street.
London: James Moyes, 1828.
30 p. ; 48.5 cm. (2°)

Large paper. The book consists of four essays on public buildings by Soane: the first, on the Bank of England, is by W.H. Leeds; the other three (on the Law Courts, Westminster, the new entrance for the King to the House of Lords, and the Privy Council Office and Board of Trade) are all by John Britton. Printed on the verso of the title-page is a prefatory address, signed in manuscript J. Britton (copy 1), stating that the four essays contained here were written for and published in volume II of Illustrations of the public buildings of London, 1828 (q.v. record 1789), and giving a convoluted, incomprehensible explanation for their separate presentation [version A]. A revised version [version B] of the 'Address', dated 'March 12, 1828' and signed 'J. Britton' (of which there are 20 unbound copies in sheets, see Mandelbrote Packet 21) makes it clear that the reason for presenting the essays separately was that they expressed 'opinions and strictures' which Soane could not express himself, but wanted known so as to counter misrepresentations and errors regarding his buildings. The plates that accompanied the essays in volume II of Britton's Illustrations of the public buildings are absent from all copies of the Essays. No other copies of the separate printing of the essays have been traced.

Copy Notes Copy 1: This is the only bound copy, with version A of the prefatory address signed by Britton in manuscript.
Copy 2: In sheets, with unsigned prefatory address, version A.
Copies 3--22: In sheets, revised version B of 'Address'.
Copies 23--24: Incomplete copies lacking pages [1]--4 (including title page and prefatory address), in sheets.

Binding Copy 1: Original C19th blue paper boards, grey paper spine, blank white paper label on front cover.
Copies 2--24: Unbound.

Reference Number 6552


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