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AINSWORTH, William Harrison, 1805-1882 :

  • Publisher: London : John Mortimer; Parry, Blenkarn & Co., 1844.
London : John Mortimer; Parry, Blenkarn & Co., 1844. First edition. Ainsworth at the height of his fame with a tale of political intrigue and power at the court of Queen Anne - the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough; Robert Harley, first Earl of Oxford; Henry St. John, first Viscount Bolingbroke, etc. "Many would have backed Ainsworth's talent against Dickens's in 1840" (John Sutherland). Three volumes. Demy 12mo (188 x 111mm). viii,(300); iv,(296); iv,(384)pp. Frontispiece and two etched plates in each volume by George Cruikshank. Bound in a superb later (turn of the century) half crimson morocco, banded and gilt in a rose design, by Lucien Broca (1839-1910) of Soho - the finest finisher in London at this time; all edges gilt; marbled sides and endpapers; marbled sides just lightly rubbed; a couple of spots, but overall a fine, clean and handsome set. Contemporary circular white morocco book-labels of Alexander Lawson Duncan (1859-1917) of Chalfont Grove and Jordanstone House, Perthshire.

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Ash Rare Books. Founded in 1946 and long one of London's more interesting small book businesses. Owned and run by Laurence Worms, former President of the ABA.

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