Antiquarian Booksellers Association
Unsworth's Booksellers
International League of Antiquarian Booksellers

Author: Borlase, William:

Title: Antiquities Historical and Monumental, of the County of Cornwall. [...] The second edition, revised, with several Additions...

Publication: London: Printed by W. Bowyer and J. Nichols, 1769.

Description: Folio, pp. [xvi], 464 + 37 engraved plates (2 folding, most in small format, serving as head- or tailpieces). Slight toning, title and verso of last leaf a little dusty, traces of a horizontal fold (probably dating to when the book was in sheets), small repair to verso of pl. 7, upper edge a bit dusty, small tear to Y1-2 and Z1-2 affecting a couple of words, occasional slight spotting or light dampstaining. Modern quarter calf over marbled boards, gilt-lettered label.

The second, enlarged edition of William Borlase's (1696-1772) account of the antiquities of Cornwall (first published 1754), with an index containing a Cornish-English vocabulary list. It was 'the first chronological account of the antiquities of the county, and the first book to describe, illustrate, and classify a significant number of them' (ODNB). Book II (over 100 pp.) is entirely devoted to the Druids, their origin, rites, doctrines, idols, symbols, worship, 'superstitions', divination, charms and incantations. Book III (c.140pp.) includes a discussion of rock idols, speaking and healing stones. 'Characteristic of [Borlase] as a scholar was his conscientious exactness in describing and measuring antiquities - he also had a talent for drawing them' (A.L. Rowse, review of Pool's 'William Borlase' in the Spectator, 26 Sept. 1987).

Bibliography: ESTC T139784; Upcott II, 82.

Reference Number: [53546]

Price: £575


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