22 June 2010
RENNELL, James. (1742-1830). A Bengal Atlas. [London: 1781]. 4o (490 x 343 mm). Printed title, contents leaf, one advertisement leaf, 27 pages of tables, engraved title to maps and 21 (of 22) numbered folding plates (all but one are maps) (lacking the plan of the Battle of Buxar, though the latter is seldom if ever present, with light browning and soiling). Contemporary half calf (rebacked, some worn).
RENNELL, James. Memoir of a Map of Hindoostan ... To Which is Added, an Appendix, Containing an Account of the Ganges and Burrampooter Rivers. London: M. Brown for the author, 1792. 4o (267 x 212 mm). 5 engraved maps (4 folding one colored). (Some light offsetting, and spotting, repaired tear to last leaf.) Contemporary calf (rebacked). FIRST EDITION.
FIRST EDITION OF RENNELL'S CELEBRATED MEMOIRS and enlarged edition of the atlas. Following a career in the army of the East India Company (during which he distinguished himself in Clive's campaigns), Rennell was appointed surveyor-general of Bengal in 1764. In this capacity he supervised much of the early mapping of eastern India, which culminated in the publication of his Bengal Atlas. The first 1780 edition is very rare "because the main consignment sent by ship from London to India in July 1780 was captured by the Spanish en route." See Shirley British Library T.RENN 1c. (2)
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