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Item #BB1225 The Natural History of Oxford-Shire, Being An Essay toward the Natural History of England [Admiral Edward Vernon's copy]. Robert PLOT.
The Natural History of Oxford-Shire, Being An Essay toward the Natural History of England [Admiral Edward Vernon's copy]
The Natural History of Oxford-Shire, Being An Essay toward the Natural History of England [Admiral Edward Vernon's copy]

The Natural History of Oxford-Shire, Being An Essay toward the Natural History of England [Admiral Edward Vernon's copy]

Oxford: Printed at the Theater in Oxford and are to be had there: And in London at Mr. S. Millers, at the Star near the West-end of St. Pauls Church-yard, 1677. First Edition. Full Calf. Complete in folio (311 x 181mm): [12],358,[12]pp, with magnificent folding map of Oxfordshire (often wanting), bordered with images of arms of colleges, towns, landowners and gentry; large engraved title-page vignette, and 16 numbered full-page plates by Michael Burghers, of flora and fauna, rocks and minerals, and some seventy species of fossils from the Jurassic and Cretaceous, including the first known illustration of a dinosaur bone (actually, the knee-end of the thigh bone, which Plot mistakenly thought had come from an elephant taken to Britain in Roman times), each with dedication within ornate cartouche to the owner of the land where objects illustrated were found. Contemporary Cambridge-style calf, respined to style with red morocco title and author labels gilt, date in gilt to foot, end papers renewed. Copper-engraved armorial book plate of "Orwell Park" reaffixed to front paste-down. An excellent copy, with only light scattered foxing, plates bright, binding firm. Wing P2585. Madan 3130. Lowndes ("an admirable work") 1886. ESTC Citation No. R473650. Bibliotheca Bibliographici 3454. Challinor 10. Geology Emerging 1801 (wanting the map). Mullens, p. 8. Near Fine. Item #BB1225

Four issues of the first edition are known, with no priority established (in our issue the author's name is given in full and at foot of the title page appears: "The price in sheets at the press, nine shillings. To subscribers, eight shillings."). Posthumously reprinted in a revised and enlarged second edition in 1705 with a life of Plot by his stepson John Burman. Plot, first professor of chemistry at Oxford and first keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, is best known for this "singular medley of natural philosophy, palaelogy, and the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms from man downward," (Madan) followed by the Natural History of Staffordshire, published in 1686. (Plot had planned surveys of all the English Counties, but only completed those of Oxfordshire and Staffordshire.) Oxford-Shire is filled with descriptions and illustrations of a wide range of specimens, and had immediate and far reaching influence. Throughout, in his choices of specimens and antiquities to present, Plot seems always to stress the anomalous. Admiral Edward Vernon (1684-1757), whose copy this was (or perhaps that of one of his immediate descendants), built the house and lived at Orwell Park, at Nacton in Suffolk, between 1725 and 1757. Vernon was famous for sea campaigns against the French and Spanish, with George Washington's half-brother, Lawrence Washington, serving aboard Vernon's flagship as Captain of the Marines in 1741. George Washington later named the town of Mount Vernon in Virginia after the Admiral. Following Vernon's death, on 30 October 1757, his cousin, Francis Vernon (1715-1783), rebuilt the house, adding an extensive deer park. He also bought the title of Viscount Orwell, as a result of which the lands became known as Orwell Deer Park, and later simply Orwell Park. N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, with dust jackets carefully preserved in archival, removable mylar sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).

Price: $3,865.00

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