27 - 28 June 2005
[REDE, Leman Thomas (d.1810)]. Bibliotheca Americana; or, a chronological catalogue of the most curious and interesting books, pamphlets, state papers, &c. upon the subject of North and South America ... in print and manuscript ... with an introductory discourse on the present state of literature in those countries. London: J. Debrett, J. Sewell, R. Baldwin & J. Bew, and E. Harlowe, 1789.
4o (280 x 225 mm). Original boards, uncut and unopened (backstrip lacking, covers detached and with outer corners rounded).
UNSOPHISTICATED COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION. The catalogue occupies pp. 23-262 (pp. 47-219 being the chronological catalogue, whilst the other sub-headings include "American State Papers" extracted from Jefferson's Virginia and 'Books relating to the West Indies, extracted from the catalogue of MSS. in the British Museum...by Samuel Ayscough...1782'). Of particular interest is the "Introductory discourse on the state of literature in north and south America" which occupies pp. 7-21 and is a contemporary survey of the book trade and book buying and reading habits of the inhabitants of North America. Church 1235 ("uncut copies are of infreqent occurrence"); Sabin 5198 ("the fullest English work of the subject up to its date").
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