HALL, Mr. & Mrs. S.C. Ireland: Its Scenery, Character &c. SPLENDID BINDING BY BELLEW OF DUBLIN
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With engraved title, numerous steel engravings, vignettes and maps of the counties. Three volumes. London: How and Parsons, 1841/1843. pp. (1) vi, 435, , (2) viii, 468, (3) viii, , 512. Bound by Gerald Bellew of Dublin in contemporary hard-grained red morocco with his name in gilt lettering on the inside cover (G. Bellew/ Bookbinder/ Dublin). Covers blocked in gilt and blind, corners decorated in gilt with a cluster of shamrocks. In the centre a large gilt vignette depicting an Irish Chieftain leaning on a broken Celtic Cross, his hand on an Irish harp on the edge of a lake with the ruins of a round tower and castle in the background. Spine divided into six panels by five gilt raised bands, title and volume number in gilt direct in the second and fourth, the remainder blocked in shamrock
tools; board edges and turn-ins gilt; navy blue endpapers with multiple gold stars; red and gold endbands. Spine professionally restored preserving original backstrip, occasional foxing as usual, traces of old ink stain to lower cover of volume one. All edges gilt. A fine and splendid example of the Celtic Revival style by this leading Dublin bookbinder. A very good set.
Anna Maria Hall (1800-1881), a native of Dublin, was brought to Wexford in 1806, where she lived and mixed a good deal with the country people until the age of fifteen, when she was taken to London by her mother. In 1824 she married Samuel Carter Hall (from Cork), who collaborated with her on this work. She wrote plays, sketches, short stories and novels and her works were immensely popular both in England and Ireland. This is one of the finest travel books written on Ireland, with numerous finely engraved illustrations and vignettes throughout the text. “At length we have a work upon Ireland which promises to be one of great usefulness and importance; written by those who are thoroughly conversant with this remarkable and all-engrossing country; and able to describe, with no common talent, the impressions made upon them, truthfully and independently. Mr. Hall possesses great abilities for his task; joined to practical experience, cultivated taste, and a large acquaintance with men and letters, he has had the additional advantage of a life passed in almost perpetual intercourse with Ireland and the gifted sons of Ireland. Mrs. Hall’s genius is widely known and appreciated: her quick perception, deep feeling, and dramatic power of expression, our readers are already acquainted with. She merits the highest praise as a moral writer; one who, in seeking to amuse her readers, never loses sight of the other duty of seeking their improvement and happiness. Her characters are well-delineated; her narrative never over-coloured, she relies upon the truth of her descriptions for maintaining her interest over us; she gives us actual and natural occurrences of life, forcibly felt, and by an original thinker” - ‘Manchester Chronicle’.
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