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You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Memoirs illustrative of the life and writings of John Evelyn, Esq. F.R.S. author of the "Sylva," &c. &c. Comprising his diary from the year 1641 to 1705--6, and a selection of his familiar letters. To which is subjoined, the private correspondence between King Charles I. and his secretary of state Sir Edward Nicholas, whilst His Majesty was in Scotland, 1641, and at other times during the Civil War; also between Sir Edward Hyde, afterwards Earl of Clarendon, and Sir Richard Browne, ambassador to the court of France, in the time of King Charles I. and the usurpation. The whole now published, from the original MSS. In two volumes. Edited by William Bray, Esq. ... Second edition. ...
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EVELYN, John (1620--1706)
Memoirs illustrative of the life and writings of John Evelyn, Esq. F.R.S. author of the "Sylva," &c. &c. Comprising his diary from the year 1641 to 1705--6, and a selection of his familiar letters. To which is subjoined, the private correspondence between King Charles I. and his secretary of state Sir Edward Nicholas, whilst His Majesty was in Scotland, 1641, and at other times during the Civil War; also between Sir Edward Hyde, afterwards Earl of Clarendon, and Sir Richard Browne, ambassador to the court of France, in the time of King Charles I. and the usurpation. The whole now published, from the original MSS. In two volumes. Edited by William Bray, Esq. ... Second edition. ...
London: printed for Henry Colburn; and sold by John and Arthur Arch, 1819.
2 vols ; 28.8 cm. (4º)
I: xxviii, 671, [1] p., [1] fold. letterpress geneal. table, engr. frontis. port., [6] pl. (2 fold., 1 port.)
II: v, [3], 342, [2], 336 p., engr. frontis. port., [3] pl. (2 ports.)

First edition: 1818. The second edition is identified by Lowndes as the 'best edition'. This is the first published edition of John Evelyn's Diary, for which he is chiefly remembered. Begun when he was 11 years old and covering most of his life, it is a valuable record of his time, including descriptions of his contemporaries, his travels, the arts, and major occurrences such as the plague and the great fire of London. Published with two portrait frontispieces and nine engraved plates signed by T. Bragg after Kneller, J. Coney, W. Woolnoth, T. Bragg, Sir G. Kneller, W. Angus, Edwd. Duncumb, John Scott after P. Lely, H. Meyer after R. Nanteuil, and Philip Audinet, and a folded letterpress 'Pedigree' of the Evelyn family in vol. I facing p. ix.

Copy Notes Volume I is bound in three, vol. II in two volumes. Extensively extra-illustrated copy with 355 additional plates, mostly portraits and some views including a suite of 9 views of Rome signed by Israël Silvestre with the imprint of Pierre Mariette, printed on paper watermarked 'J. Whatman 1817'. Inscribed in pencil on first free-endpaper 5 vols illustrated Unique / £52.10.0 and in another hand 105 5 Vol nt/x/y. John Weale offered the book to Soane for first refusal for 45 guineas in a letter of 31 August 1825, renewing the enquiry in another letter dated 9 September. (Spiers Box, Miscellaneous folder 10; Archives 7/4/47). The set is accompanied by a later 28-page MSS. listing of the illustrations in their order of appearance, compiled by George Bailey with corrections and annotations by Walter Spiers, and by a 12-page subject index compiled by Walter Spiers.

Binding C19th maroon straight-grained morocco, blind-tooled anthemion and palmette within gilt-tooled arabesque borders, gilt-tooled spines and lettering, gilt edges, blue endpapers.

Reference Number 3878


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