WATHEN, James (1751?-1828). A series of Views illustrative of the Island of St. Helena. London: printed for the proprietor, published by T. Clay, Robert. Jennings and John Major, September 1821.
4° (290 x 220mm). Engraved 'proof' portrait of Wathen after A.J. Oliver, engraved title with hand-coloured aquatint vignette, 9 hand-coloured aquatint plates after Wathen by I. Clark, 'arranged by E.W.,' numbered 2-10, one double-page. 2 wood-engraved tailpieces. (Frontispiece lightly waterstained at inner margin, double-page plate with repair in lower gutter, light marginal soiling.) Original printed wrappers (rebacked), modern half calf portfolio.
FIRST EDITION OF THESE RARE VIEWS [letterpress on paper watermarked J. Whatman 1818; plates on paper watermarked 1821], reissued on small paper c. 1826. The artist, the son of a glover from Hereford, went on frequent walking excursions throughout Great Britain and Ireland, his regular contributions to the Gentleman's Magazine earning him the sobriquet of 'Jemmy Sketch.' As the advertisement to this volume states, he spent 'not quite three days' on St. Helena in the summer of 1812, making 'no fewer than thirteen drawings,' two of which were published in his Journal of a Voyage to Madras and China (2 vols., 1814), and eight of which appear here. Two other sketches, the 'View of Longwood' and title vignette of Napoleon's tomb, are 'the result of a later performance.' Abbey observes that the 'private plate' portrait does not appear in all copies. Abbey Travel I, 314.