With forty-seven engraved plates. Four volumes. Londra [i.e. Leghorn?]: 1781. 12mo. Si vende in Livorno presso Gio. Tomo. Masi e Comp. Engraved titlepages.The imprint is false; probably printed in Leghorn. The titlepages are engraved. Bound in walnut calf by William M’Kenzie of Dublin. Covers framed by a gilt chain-link roll. Flat spine divided into five compartments by triple gilt rules and a gilt chain-link roll. Title in gilt on red morocco letterpieces in the second, volume number in gilt on green morocco label in the fourth, the remainder with circular red morocco onlays elaborately tooled in gilt. McDonnell and Healy tools: 21, 28, R4, and R16. Board edges hatched in gilt. The present bindings represent the typical style of McKenzie with green, yellow, pink, red, white and black splash-marbled endpapers. From the library of Thomas Burgh with his name stamped on upper covers and his armorial bookplate on front pastedowns. Signature of his wife Florinda Burgh on titlepages dated 1784. Annotated throughout. Also with library stamp of Furness Library, County Kildare, on flyleaves. Toning of pages. Some minor wear to extremities and joints, minor surface wear to upper cover, otherwise a near fine set in a fine and rare M’Kenzie binding. A most attractive set. €1,650
COPAC with 3 locations only. ESTC T169316.
Thomas Burgh (1754-1832), M.R.I.A., Oldtown, near Naas, County Kildare was M.P. for Harristown in the Irish Parliament. The Oldtown estate contained almost 3,000 acres. He married in 1784 Florinda, daughter of Charles Gardiner M.P., and sister of Luke Gardiner, 1st Viscount Mountjoy. This set may well have been a wedding gift to his wife. Thomas Burgh was a political follower of the Duke of Leinster and a brother-in law of John Foster, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons. He was a commissioner of customs and revenue, a wide streets commissioner, and a member of the Royal Irish Academy. According to Mary Kelleher’s list of eighteenth century members (RDS. Library 1982) he was briefly a member of the Dublin Society in 1768-70 and rejoined in 1782. He was joint honorary secretary of the society 1788-92, and a vicepresident 1792-1810. He appears to have resigned from office and from the society in 1810. Orlando Furioso (The Frenzy of Orlando), more literally Raging Roland, is an Italian epic poem by Ludovico Ariosto which has exerted a wide influence on later culture. The earliest version appeared in 1516, although the poem was not published in its complete form until 1532. Orlando Furioso is a continuation of Matteo Maria Boiardo’s unfinished romance Orlando Innamorato (“Orlando in Love”, published posthumously in 1495).
In its historical setting and characters, it shares some features with the Old French Chanson de Roland of the eleventh century, which tells of the death of Roland. Orlando is the Christian knight known in French (and subsequently English) as Roland. The action takes place against the background of the war between Charlemagne’s Christian paladins and the Saracen army that had invaded Europe and is attempting to overthrow the Christian empire. The poem is about war and love and the romantic ideal of chivalry.
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