London: Printed for Baynes and Son et al (printed by J.F. Dove), 1826. Hardcover. Eight volumes (complete), octavo size, 3634 pp., "The Sixteenth Edition, Revised and Corrected; and Illustrated with Nineteen New Plates" Very good. Item #19102102
Charles Rollin (1661-1741) was apparently a natural teacher, becoming a "master" in what today is known as the Sorbonne at the young age of 22. Unfortunately, his religious views (those of a Jansenist) did not align with the orthodox Roman Catholic views, and he was therefore deprived of subsequent teaching posts. He thus turned to writing historical works, which "were avowed compilations, uncritical and somewhat inaccurate. But they instructed and interested, generation after generation" (n.b., quote from Wiki).
After perusing this set of Ancient History, we cannot agree more that M. Rollin was an entertaining writer. Throughout the set he intersperses quotes from contemporary sources, so that one is almost living the history as it happens; as one example, while discussing Alexander the Great, he shares this story of Alexander speaking to his chief courtiers after recovering from a near-fatal wound: "I cannot enough thank all present, who are the flower of my citizens and friends, not only for your having this day preferred my safety to your own, but also for the strong proofs you have given me of your zeal and affection, from the beginning of this war; and if any thing is capable of making me wish for a longer life, it is the pleasure of enjoying, for years to come, such valuable friends as you..." We do not know if these are historically accurate quotes or imaginings of M. Rollin, but he makes reading ancient history more enjoyable than most we have encountered.
___DESCRIPTION: Eight volumes (a complete set), bound in half green leather over marbled boards, spines tooled in gilt with two brown leather spine labels (title and volume number), plain green endpapers, frontispiece in Volume 1 an engraved portrait of Charles Rollin, the set contains nineteen plates comprised of the aforementioned frontispiece, fifteen maps (of which thirteen are folding), two city plans, and one illustration; octavo size (8.75" by 5.5"), pagination: Volume 1, [frontis], [i-iv being the title page, printer's statement, dedication, blank], [v]-viii being the Table of Contents, [ix]-xlii being the "Memoirs of Rollin", [i]-cxxxiv being the Preface, -412; Volume 2, [i]-vi being the title page and Table of Contents, -467; Volume 3, [i]-viii being the title page and Table of Contents, -494; Volume 4, [i]-viii being the title page and Table of Contents, -451; Volume 5, [i]-vi being the title page and Table of Contents, -429; Volume 6, [i]-vii being the title page and Table of Contents, [viii-blank], -453; Volume 7, [i]-viii being the title page and Table of Contents, -448; and Volume 8, [i]-iv being the title page and Table of Contents, -427, [428-"Directions to the Binder" (i.e., list of plates)] - note that included in Volume 8 is a lengthy Chronological Table (pp. 205 through 260) and a General Index (pp. 261 through 427).
___CONDITION: Overall the set is in very good condition; the binding with moderate overall edgewear, the marbled paper boards mostly clean with minimal rubbing, all of the text blocks strong and square, the hinges in Volume One just cracked (both boards still solidly attached) with the hinges in the other volumes solid, the interiors mostly clean and bright with scattered foxing, collates complete with all nineteen plates, the folding maps in uniformly near fine condition, some with short tears at the stub, the only prior owner markings we see being a light (partially erased) pencil notation on the front pastedown of Volume 1; the leather spines somewhat sunned, a few volumes with wear to the heads/tails, several spine labels slightly chipped, and Volume 6 being in slightly worse condition than the other seven volumes with more soil to the back marbled board, heavier foxing than the other volumes,and some old dampstains to one folding map, one illustration and in the fore-edge margin of a portion of the book. Even with the additional issues in this single volume, overall a solid, very good set.
___POSTAGE: Please note that due to the weight of this set additional postage may apply; please inquire for details.
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