The monuments of St Paul’s Cathedral and of Westminster Abbey; with historical sketches and descriptions of both churches: forming an entirely new and correct biography of all that is interesting in the lives and achievements of the most illustrious characters of the united kingdoms. Second edition.
London, printed for John Williams 1827.
Large 8vo. 2 vols. xxxiii+(1)+494pp, 10 engraved plates incl. 1 folding hand-coloured plate, engraved title (advertising another work) ; (2)+pp495-959+(1)pp, 24 engraved plates. Publisher’s cloth covered boards, spines discoloured and the material torn, corners bumped. Bindings slightly loose. Some browning, and the first few plates of vol. 2 have a marginal dampstain in lower right-hand corner.
Smyth’s two volumes include brief descriptions of the history and architecture of St.Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, but are mostly concerned, as their title indicates, with the lives and careers of the various celebrities buried in each church. The long and detailed biographical essays include transcripts of the inscriptions on the monuments where appropriate, and the essays reflect the considerable public appetite at the time for biographical information on those buried in these great London churches.