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West Coast Rare Books

West Coast Rare Books

Westport / Ireland

Dodsley, The Annual Register, or a View of the History, Politics, and Literature…

Dodsley, The Annual Register, or a View of the History, Politics, and Literature

Dodsley, J. / Burke, Edmund (Editors). Washington, George / Jefferson, Thomas / Founding Fathers et al. The Annual Register, or a View of the History, Politics, and Literature, for the Year 1774, 1776, 1778 – 1781, 1783 and 1787. [A Crucial Primary Source for the American Revolution / Early Printing of the Declaration of Independance / American Civil War / 1787 Constitution of the United States of America etc.]. 1774 & 1776 Fourth Editions. All others: First Editions. Eight Volumes. London, Printed for J. Dodsley, 1789, 1788, 1779, 1780, 1780, 1782, 1785 & 1789. 21 x 12.5 cm. 1774: (2), 280, 245, (10) / 1776: IV, 270, 259, (9) / 1778: IV, 334, 245, (11) / 1779: vii, 442, 193, (10) / 1780: vii, 404, 251, (12) / 1781: (2), 339, 207, (12) / 1787: II, 320, 202, (14). Uniform contemporary tree calf. Gilt decorations to spine. Dentelles. Generally very good condition. Bindings seriously rubbed and bumped. Edges and end papers age darkened and dust dulled. Spine labels missing. Some joints started to crack. Some material losses to heads of spines and corners (see images). The 1779 volume has a split spine. Bindings remain sound. Internally mildly age darkened / dust dulled, occasionally foxed, otherwise clean. The 1781 volumes shows some damp and bookworm damage for the last 20 pages or so, not affecting readability. No annotations, library stamps etc. Eight clean copies. Excellent reading copies or candidates for rebinding.

The Annual Register was created in 1758 by the publishers James and Robert Dodsley. On 24 April 1758 the Dodsley brothers signed a contract with Edmund Burke (1729-97) to write and edit the material for The Annual Register, which was conceived as an annual publication which would review the history, politics and literature of the day. Born in Ireland, Burke had trained as a lawyer before abandoning this field and turning to writing.
The Annual Register comprised of several sections, such as History of Europe, Characters, Chronicle, Antiquities, Natural History, Miscellaneous Essays, Poetry and an Account of Books. Of particular interest to historians is the collection of ‘State Papers’, a miscellany of primary source material which included official documents, speeches, letters and accounts.
Given the conventions of the day, within which journalism was a disreputable profession for a gentleman, Burke was publicly reticent about his connection with The Annual Register. However, his biographers agree that Burke wrote and edited the book single-handedly until 1765, when he entered Parliament. Many suggest that he continued to contribute to the history section and that he played a significant role in overseeing The Annual Register’s compilation until the 1790s.
The eight volumes presented below are of particular interest as they provide a contemporary account (from a British viewpoint) of the events leading to the American Revolution and during the American Revolutionary War. Of particular interest in this respect will be the following sections in the various registers:
1774: A report on the Boston Tea Party (‘The town of Boston, which had been so long obnoxious to government, was the scene of the first outrage…a number of armed me, under the disguise of Mohawk Indians, boarded the ships, and in a few hours discharged their whole cargoes of tea into the sea, without doing any other damage, or offering any injury to the captains or crews’). The volume also includes an extensive amount devoted to correspondence between America and the King and parliament exploring growing concerns that would lead to the Revolutionary War, as well as documents, printed in full, passed by the First Continental Congress on Oct. 26, 1774, petitioning King George III to repeal the hated Intolerable Acts. Also included is the “Association of the American Congress”, created on Oct. 20, 1774.
1776: The 1776 volume begins with a ‘Retrospective view of American Affairs in the year 1775’ and the invasion of Canada. It continues reviewing the conflicts in the Americas, including the bombardment of Boston, the landing on Long Island and the taking of New York. Under the heading “Reasons assigned by the Continental Congress, for the North-American Colonies and Provinces withdrawing their Allegience to the King of Great-Britain”, it prints the Declaration of Independence of 4 July 1776 (page 261 ff.) and the Articles of Confederation, resolved by the Congress on 4 October 1776 (page 264 ff.). Also of interest: on page 236 ff. it contains a review of the first volumes of Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” and Smith’s “Wealth of Nations.” A translation of Voltaire’s letter concerning the Collection of Letters appears on page 185 ff. in the Essays section and Abbé Raynal’s abolitionist essay appears on pages 168 ff. (Sabin 1614).
1778: Contains much contemporary review about the American Revolutionary War, incl. ‘State of the hostile armies in Philadelphia during the winter, Predatory expeditions from Philadelphia and Rhode Island, General Washington crosses the Delaware, Departure of the French Fleet’, etc.
1779: Continued review of American Revolutionary War for 1778 and 1779. Related State Papers: ‘Treaty of Friendship and Commerce between the French King and the United States of America’ and ‘Manifesto of the Congress of the United States of America’.
1780: War coverage: ‘Rhode Island Evacuated. Expedition against Charles Town. Lord Cornwallis takes Command. Insurrection of the loyalists in North Carolina quelled. Battle of Camden. Complete victory gained by Lord Cornwallis’ etc.
1781: Extensive coverage of 1780 and 1781 developments leading to the capitulation of Lord Cornwallis at York Town: ‘Such was the issue of the Virginian war. The loss of Lord Cornwallis’s army was too heavy a blow to be soon or easily recovered. It was evident, that it must entirely change the nature of the war on the side of Great Britain; and that it could no longer be carried on offensively by land, at least to any considerable extent. Indeed, the surrender at York Town, maybe considered as the closing scene of the whole continental war in America… Undoubtedly a new scene is opened’.
1783: Related State Papers: ‘The definitive treaty of peace and friendship between his Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, signed at Paris the 3d day of September, 1783’ (page 339 ff.) and ‘Transcript of the treaty between France and the United States of America; together with the ratification of the same by Congress’ (page 346 ff.).
1787: ‘Articles of the New Constitution of the United States of America, entered into by a Convention of all the States held at New York, and transmitted to Congress for their Approbation by General Washington, President of the Convention, on the 17th September 1787’, pages 289 ff.

Our price: EUR 2.200,-- 

Dodsley, The Annual Register, or a View of the History, Politics, and Literature
Dodsley, The Annual Register, or a View of the History, Politics, and Literature
Dodsley, The Annual Register, or a View of the History, Politics, and Literature
Dodsley, The Annual Register, or a View of the History, Politics, and Literature
Dodsley, The Annual Register, or a View of the History, Politics, and Literature
Dodsley, The Annual Register, or a View of the History, Politics, and Literature
Dodsley, The Annual Register, or a View of the History, Politics, and Literature
Dodsley, The Annual Register, or a View of the History, Politics, and Literature
Dodsley, The Annual Register, or a View of the History, Politics, and Literature

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Our shop is located on James Street in the beautiful old Georgian part of Westport between the tree-lined Mall and the Octagon, one of the town’s well known landmarks.