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(Society of Dilettanti) Fraser, Sir William, ed.

Members of the Society of Dilettanti 1736-1874.

Members of the Society of Dilettanti 1736-1874.

(London, privately printed for the Society of Dilettanti by the Chiswick Press, 1874).

Reference: 15344
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8vo. (2) + 56pp. Original cloth, with Sir William Fraser’s personal gilt-stamped device in centre of upper and lower covers, a little worn at spine and the covers faded towards outer margins. One of 200 copies printed for private distribution.

A printed list of all those elected to membership of the Society of Dilettanti from the Society’s foundation to the date of the volume’s publication. The Society had been founded in the 1730s as a dining club for those English aristocrats who had visited Italy or Greece on their Grand Tour, and although it was not until later that the Society took on the responsibility for funding a series of scholarly publications on the architecture and sculpture of ancient Greece, its membership list is useful from the very start in showing which eighteenth century English aristocrats had got as far as Italy on their Grand Tour. The list also shows that those elected to the Society in the nineteenth century up to 1874 included four future British Prime Ministers (Lord Aberdeen in 1805, Sir Robert Peel and Lord Goderich in 1826, Lord Rosebery in 1870).