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Roberts, Henry

The dwellings of the labouring classes, their arrangement and construction ; illustrated by a reference to the model houses of the Society for Improving the Condition of the Laboiuring Classes, with other buildings recently erected ; and an appendix, containing H.R.H.Proince Albert’s Exhibition Model Houses, Hyde Park, 1851 ; the model cottages & built by the Windsor Royal Society … third edition.

London, “published by request, and sold for the benefit of the Society for Improving the Condition of the Labouring Classes” nd (preface dated June 1853, but this issue September 1855).

Reference: 13853
Price: £490 [convert currency]

Full Description

4to. (8) + 68pp (pages 1-40 printed on both sides of (20) leaves, and pages 41-65 printed on one side of leaf only, while page (66) is the blank verso of page 65, and pages 67-8 are printed on both sides of final text leaf), 12 litho plates, also many text ills and plans. A printed pamphlet, 7 + (1)pp, issued in May 1861 by the Incorporated Society for Promoting the Enlargement, Building, and Repairing of Churches and Chapels, bound in at end of volume. Original blind-stamped cloth, with gilt title on upper cover, slightly worn at spine and corners and cracked at inner front hinge (but soundly bound). From the library of the Birmingham architect John Cotton (1844-1934), with his bookplate dated 1875, and his ink ownership inscription dated 1864 (the pamphlet at the end also carries an ink ownership inscription by him dated 1864).

A celebrated publication on working class housing by Henry Roberts (1803-1876), the first London architect in modern times to make such housing his speciality. His best-known building is probably his block of “model houses, for families”, in Streatham Street, Bloomsbury, illustrated here by elevations and plans (pp 49-52), but he designed a number of other blocks of a similar nature, and this was to lead to his being commissioned by Prince Albert to design the well-known “Model Houses for Four Families” for the Great Exhibition of 1851, also described and illustrated here (pp 57-8). The first edition of the present book, published in 1850, had contained 47 pages of text only, but the present third edition, with a new foreword by Roberts dated June 1853, was expanded to publish additionally both the Model Houses design carried out for the Great Exhibition and a group of model cottages erected at Windsor to Roberts’s designs, under the auspices of the Windsor Royal Society and the patronage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (published here pp 59-65), and is thus very much worth having. This particular copy includes an added printed leaf (pp 67-8), dated September 1855, in which Roberts records some “beneficial results of improvements in the dwellings of the labouring classes”.