DIBDIN, Thomas Frognall (1776-1847). Bibliomania; or Book Madness: A bibliographical Romance in six Parts. London: for the Author and sold by Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1811. 8° (221 x 135mm). Half-title, woodcut on verso, engraved frontispiece portrait of Dibdin by Henry Mayer after Henry Edridge, title ruled in red and with an engraved vignette by Hewlett, additional engraved illustration of the bookbinder Roger Payne pasted on verso, one plate, numerous illustrations, first leaf in each of the six parts printed within an attractive woodcut border. (Light offsetting from frontispiece onto title, plate browned.) Contemporary russia over wooden boards by Thomas Gosden, sides lavishly tooled in blind in a fanshape design, feigned gilt hinges, lettered in gilt on spine, central panel decorated in blind, inside borders tooled in blind and gilt, red silk linings, gilt edges (skilfully rebacked with old spine relaid, 2 corners bumped). Provenance: Thomas Gosden (1780-1843, bookplate) – Elizabeth Sarah Wilkinson (bookplate).
Second edition, ATTRACTIVELY BOUND BY Thomas Gosden. Inserted at the front are 2 AUTOGRAPH LETTERS AND A BILL FOR PRINTING THE BOOK. The first letter is written in the third person from Leontes (J. Bindley, who is so named in the book) to Dibdin, followed by a hand written copy of J. M’Creery’s bill, listing all various costs of producing the book, and finally, a letter from Dibdin, written in the third person, to Mr Scott asking him about the price of an engraving (dated Kensington, 11 March 1815). ‘The Bibliomania is written in dialogues or conversations, the characters introduced are well-known book collectors of the author's acquaintance. The great value of the work is in the notes, which abound with anecdotes of Books and Book Collectors, and an account of the rare articles in their collections, and the prices at which they were sold, extracted from the sale catalogues. This work has in a great degree given a stimulus to the collecting of our early literature, and bibliography in this country; on which subjects it will be always consulted as an authority.’ (Lowndes). Lowndes II, 639-640.