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Peter Harrington

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On The Advantages Which Have Resulted from the Establishment of the Board of Agriculture: being the substance of a lecture read to that institution, May 26th, 1809. By the Secretary to the Board.

YOUNG, Arthur. Octavo (205 x 124 mm). 20th-century brown cloth, spine lettered in gilt. Paper repair to head of title page obscuring the "on the" of the title, pages lightly toned around text block. A good copy. First edition of this printing of Arthur Young's speech defending the establishment and the achievements of the Board of Agriculture. "A new stage in Young's career began in 1793 with the establishment, with government support, of the board of agriculture. The idea for such a board had originated with William Marshall, the distinguished agricultural writer, who was a critic of Young. The board, however, was dominated by Young's friends, and aided by his shift to conservative views, he was regarded as the most suitable person to be the board's secretary, an appointment bitterly resented by Marshall. The latter's hostility became even greater when the board decided to commission a series of agricultural reports of individual counties, rather than of regions as Marshall advocated. Subsequently Marshall set out to criticize the reports at length" (ODNB). Provenance: The Lawes Agricultural Library, with their stamp to front cover and pencilled shelf marks to pastedown and title page. The library was assembled in the early 20th century by Sir John Russell, director of the Rothamsted agricultural research institution in Hertfordshire, and ranked as one of the finest English collections of agricultural material. Kress B.5589.
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Account of the Experiments tried by the Board of Agriculture in the Composition of Various Sorts of Bread.

BREAD.) Quarto (241 x 184 mm). Recent green cloth, spine lettered in gilt, gilt library stamp to front cover. Bound without half-title. A few pages lightly creased, p. 25 with tiny chip at fore edge, faint soiling to initial and final page, else a very good copy. With 2 engraved folding plates. First edition of the full report of the Board of Agriculture, preceded by two shorter reports earlier the same year. The Revolutionary Wars led to a sharp rise in the price of wheat and bread. In response, the Board of Agriculture conducted a study of substitutes for wheat in bread making, with rye, rice, barley, buck-wheat, maize, oats, peas, beans and potatoes all subject to the experiments. The present published report encourages these alternatives, mostly on the basis that the result is perfectly edible. The lengthy appendix includes reports of the experiments of others, with two intriguing plates, the first depicting a potato-roasting machine, and the second a design for a horse-powered flour mill for military regiments to take on their marches. Provenance: The Lawes Agricultural Library, with their gilt stamp to front cover, pencilled shelfmarks and stamp to front pastedown, and pencilled notations to title page. The library was assembled in the early 20th century by Sir John Russell, director of the Rothamsted agricultural research institution in Hertfordshire, and ranked as one of the finest English collections of agricultural material. ESTC T8598.
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The Works.] With an Introduction by Richard Le Gallienne.

WILDE, Oscar. 15 volumes, octavo (211 x 140 mm). Contemporary black half hard-grain morocco, gilt titles and designs direct to spine, raised bands, marbled sides and endpapers, top edges gilt, others untrimmed. Spines faded to brown, a few small chips to spine ends, some tips and extremities rubbed and lightly worn, a few light scuff marks to sides, else internally clean and presenting well. A very good set. Decorative limitation page in colour with highlights in gilt to each volume, frontispieces with tissue guards, decorative title pages, 57 plates by various artists including Aubrey Beardsley and Albert Hencke, with tissue guards captioned in red. The Uniform edition, normally bound in cloth and limited to 800 sets, within which is the Florentine edition in deluxe binding, of which this is number 75 of 450 copies only. Of particular note are the four illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley for Salomé. In 1894, Beardsley designed and submitted several illustrations for the British edition of Salomé. Wilde approved of Beardsley's explicit and macabre style, but many of his designs were rejected on the basis that they were too erotic to publish and were either replaced or omitted altogether. The British Library quotes critic Peter Raby, "Beardsley gave the text its first true public and modern performance, placing it firmly within the 1890s – a disturbing framework for the dark elements of cruelty and eroticism, and of the deliberate ambiguity and blurring of gender, which he released from Wilde's play as though he were opening Pandora's box."
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Lives of the Queens of England, from the Norman Conquest; with anecdotes of their courts, now first published from official records and other authentic documents, private as well as public.

STRICKLAND, Agnes [& Elizabeth]. 12 volumes, octavo (188 x 116 mm). Rebound to style in 20th-century tan half calf, twin red and black spine labels, raised bands, gilt-tooled floral motifs to compartments, yellow marbled boards, endpapers, and edges. Bookplates of Georgina Gertrude Foster (illustrated by T. Rough) to front pastedowns of vols. I, VII–XII; ownership signatures of Agnes Cubitt and G. G. Foster, Southwold to front free endpaper versos of vols. I and III respectively. Contents clean excepting the occasional instance of foxing, some vols. more toned than others. A very good set, uniformly bound. Engraved frontispiece and facing vignette title page to each volume, numerous facsimile signatures and drawings in text. First edition of the Strickland sisters' best-known work, an important landmark in the development of the biographical genre. By the early 1830s Agnes (1796-1874) and Elizabeth Strickland (1794-1875), each in their own right enjoying successful literary careers, chose to move towards "a new field of authorship, popular history: they had decided to collaborate on a series of biographies of the queens of England. By the early 1830s Agnes and Elizabeth were devoting part of the morning to reading historical manuscripts in the British Museum Library, with instruction in palaeography from the staff. 'Facts not opinions' was the motto adopted by the sisters, and their manuscript research was both pioneering and intensive" (ODNB). They lobbied politicians to secure entry into the State Paper Office, which did not normally admit women, making them the first women to gain access. The resulting twelve-volume Lives of the Queens of England (1840-48), published by Henry Colburn, "covered enough new ground to be genuinely innovative. Their general thesis was that queens as rulers had been important historical agents (not, as some historians had argued, usually nothing but tools for the ambition and abilities of men) and that queens as women had exercised a civilizing feminine influence as instruments of moral and religious improvement" (Orlando). Like the sisters' numerous other historical biographies it was published under Agnes's name only, by joint agreement, to suit Elizabeth's reclusive nature. "They were undoubtedly key figures in the development of writing on women's history, playing a role in creating a tradition of female worthies which can be seen as the first step towards fuller scholarly investigation" (ODNB). This set has an interesting provenance which points to its circulation in Southwold, Suffolk, the sisters' childhood home and the place to which Agnes would return to live until her death. Several of the volumes bear the bookplate and ownership signature of Georgina Gertrude Foster (née Cubitt; 1850-1922), who lived in Strickland House in Southwold and whose daughter Georgiana Fanny Julia Foster (1891-1975) inherited a large collection of Strickland material.
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Poems. New and enlarged edition.

ROSSETTI, Christina. Octavo. Original blue cloth, titles to spine in gilt, geometric design to spine and front cover in gilt, to rear cover in blind, fore and bottom edges untrimmed. Bookseller's ticket to rear pastedown. Slight wear to spine ends and tips, a couple of small marks to spine, small ripple to front cover, top edge dust toned, top edge of a couple leaves haphazardly opened, a couple unopened, foxing to endmatter, frontispiece starting but firm, nevertheless a very good copy. Frontispiece with tissue guard and 3 plates by Dante Gabrielle Rossetti. Arthur Edward Waite's copy of this attractive collection of Christina Rossetti's poems, with his bookplate to the front pastedown. This copy has the contemporary ownership inscription of Waite's muse and great love Dora Stuart Menteath to the front free endpaper, "Dora Stuart Menteath, Feb 23rd 1893". Waite met Dora in 1886 and the two fell almost immediately in love; unfortunately for Waite in June 1887 she married a Reverend Granville Stuart-Menteath. In January 1888 Waite married her sister, Ada, with whom he had a daughter, Sybil. Dora and Waite remained close despite their marriages; the two families lived near one another in Gunnersbury, and the pair collaborated to great success on the poem Avalon: a Poetic Romance, published in 1894. Waite, whose own poetry owes much to Rossetti's gothic style, was one of the most significant writers on the occult and mysticism; "the 1890s were Waite's most prolific decade with ten books, fifteen works edited or translated, and the first independent journal in this field, the Unknown World, to his credit" (ONDB). He was the co-creator, with artist Pamela Colman Smith, of what is still one of the most popular Tarot decks ever produced, the partially-eponymous Rider-Waite deck. This edition of Rossetti's poems was first published in 1890, this copy being the fourth reprint, and includes her most celebrated poem "Goblin Market". Wallner, Lars, The Forgotten Gothic of Christina Rossetti, University of Linköping (2010).
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A Letter to a Freeholder on the Late Reduction of the Land Tax to One Shilling in the Pound.

ARNALL, William. Octavo (198 x 124 mm). 20th-century cloth, spine lettered in gilt. Browned, very minor chipping and creasing around page extremities. A very good copy. First edition. William Arnall (died 1736) was an extensive political pamphleteer, who took up writing for the government at Robert Walpole's personal request. At a government pension of £400 - making him the best paid government journalist in London - "Arnall provided a series of papers which challenged country whig allegations of a supposedly corrupt, immoral, and tyrannous ministry. By contrast Arnall exposed the anachronism of a country party unaware of the benefits of modern levels of commercial enterprise dependent on private expressions of self-interest. It was, Arnall believed, the government's obligation (and present achievement) to stimulate this passion to ensure the self-preservation of the greatest number of the populace" (ODNB). In the present tract Arnall defends the government's reduction in land taxation. Arnall's Letter is bound with (despite the incongruity in size): The Honest Farmer's Politics and Religion: A Dialogue, published by F.C. and J. Rivington, for The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1820, duodecimo, (175 x 100 mm). This is the first edition of this anonymous tract, opposing the desires for radical reform which the author must have felt to be growing among farmers, and mounting a defence of the veracity of the bible. The dialogue is particularly notable for its lengthy rejection of Thomas Paine. Highly uncommon, with Copac listing three copies, with none added by OCLC. Provenance: The Lawes Agricultural Library, with their gilt stamp to front cover, ink stamps to title pages, and shelf marks. The library was assembled in the early 20th century by Sir John Russell, director of the Rothamsted agricultural research institution in Hertfordshire, and ranked as one of the finest English collections of agricultural material. ESTC T67225.