Lewis, John

The history and antiquities, as well ecclesiastical as civil, of the Isle of Tenet, in Kent. The second edition, with additions.

London, “printed for the author, and for Joseph Ames, and Peter Thompson” 1736.

Reference: 10033
Price: £825 [convert currency]

Full Description

4to. viii + 204 + (2) + 124pp, mezzotint portrait of author (bound as frontispiece) , 25 engraved plates, 4 engraved vignettes, other woodcut text ills. Contemporary full vellum (an English binding). A good, clean copy. From the library of the Earls of Macclesfield, with mid nineteenth century Macclesfield armorial bookplate, dated 1860, and armorial Macclesfield blind stamp towards top of frontispiece and next two leaves (as customary with books from this library).

Second and best edition of this pioneering history of the Isle of Thanet (the first edition, published in 1723, had many fewer pages and only nine plates). Its author, Rev.John Lewis (1675-1747), Vicar of Minster in Thanet, was an active local antiquary, and he provides a full account of the Isle, which, although comprising ten parishes only, included the seaside towns of Margate and Ramsgate. He also provides illustrations of the principal local buildings, including the North Foreland lighthouse, and prints the texts of relevant Anglo-Saxon charters and verbatim extracts from other relevant documents. An unusual feature of the imprint is that in it Lewis’s name is joined with those of his friends and fellow antiquaries Joseph Ames, the historian of English printing, and Sir Peter Thompson, and it is not easy to think of a parallel example where a book that was privately published was issued under the joint responsibility of three individuals. A surviving memorandum by Sir Peter Thompson indicates that 250 copies of the book were issued. Upcott , vol.1, pp.435-7.

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