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RUSSEL, William P.
Suggestions for the Prince-Regent of the British Empire; shewing the means whereby he may become as popular a prince as ever swayed the British sceptre: accomplishing more good, at less expence, and producing more individual happiness and public security, than any one royal predecessor. By Gulielmus Cambrensis.
London: 1814.
[2], 62 p. ; 21.1 cm. (8°)

With half-title reading 'Prudent Suggestions, For The Prince Regent: Discovering To Him The Art Of Laying Out Money, To The Greatest Advantage, National And Personal. In Four Letters.' The pseudonymous author may be identified as a 'Mr W: Russel' on the basis of two autograph letters to Soane inserted in copy 1. The earlier of these, dated Thursday Noon April 4th and signed as from The Author ... presents a copy of the Suggestions and, drawing Soane's attention to the 3rd and 4th letters, expresses the hope that his apparently serious scheme for royal Mile-Cottages instead of mile-stones along the King's Highway, might be begun under your Direction to give Models for various and appropriate Buildings to benefit the Prince & his Tenants in humble life --- . The second, later communication, in the same hand and dated simply Friday afternoon, is an apparently final, desperate begging-letter from Mr W: Russel, who had already approached Soane a month earlier in connection with a scheme for a 'Female University' (also accompanied by a pamphlet, An appendix, to candid thoughts, q.v.), and who it appears had been bombarding the architect with importunate letters and attempted calls ever since the latter had unwisely expressed some interest in his ideas. Whilst it must have soon become apparent to Soane that Russel's scheme was to say the least bizarre, it probably took a little longer before it sunk in that this was a near seditious spoof in the manner of Swift's 'Tale of a Tub', by someone who had almost certainly been introduced to him under a false name. That 'Gulielmus Cambrensis' feared prosecution for publishing his mock-serious solution to the problems of the poor is proved by the fact that both the title-page imprint and the printer's colophon on p. 62 have been physically excised in both copies. Nonetheless, Soane paid £1 on 6 April 1816. (Jnl 6, p. 202). Further correspondence with 'W. Cambrensis' is in Soane's archives. (Priv. Corr. VI.P.3).

Copy Notes Copy 1: With two inserted ALs as above. With the foot of the title-page excised under the motto, and the printer's colophon excised on p. 62 with loss of text on p. 61, repaired with blank paper. Bound with five other polemical pamphlets. Traces of original blue paper upper and lower wrapper retained.
Copy 2: With the publisher's imprint only excised from the title-page, and printer's colophon excised from p. 62 with loss of text on p. 61, repaired with blank paper. Bound (2) with a pamphlet entitled: A letter to His Majesty, 1809 (q.v.).

Binding Copy 1: C19th half calf, gilt double-rule spine, black spine-label lettered 'None Greater Than I &c. &c.', numbered '21' in a series of pamphlet volumes. Bound by Edwin Hutchinson for 1s. 6d., 28 February 1832. (Archive 7/16/29 book binding, half bound lettd.)
Copy 2: Later C19th half hairsheep, marbled-paper boards, blind double-rule borders, gilt-ruled spine, spine-title: 'Pamphlets'.

Reference Number 1835


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