London: Alex. Hogg, 1795. Leather bound. Six volumes (complete), octavo size, 2366 total pp. Very good. Item #CNSZ04
"The Newgate Calendar", named after the Newgate Prison in London, began as a monthly bulletin of executions published by the "Keeper" of Newgate Prison in London. It soon became popular as a form of morality entertainment of the day, in many families ranking alongside of the Bible and "The Pilgrim's Progress" (n.b., info per Wiki). Although taken from actual events, the Calendar is known for presenting embellished accounts of crimes, with much editorialising incorporated into the stories.
This six-volume set (five volumes plus the Supplement) comprises the lives and exploits of criminals from 1700 to 1795, and is replete with numerous copper plate engravings depicting the crimes in the text. The first volume has a pictorial title page with an engraved frontispiece dated 1794 and a pictorial title page with the title as "The New & Complete Newgate Calendar" (undated); volumes two through four show the title as "The New Newgate Calendar"; volumes five and six are also titled "The New and Complete Newgate Calendar"; this apparent change of the title can be explained by the "Directions to the Binders" in Volume 6: "The old Titles to Vol. II. III. IV. and V. ...are to be cancelled, and the Titles given with the last Number put in their stead". The sixth volume is comprised of two "Supplements", as well as "A Correct Index" and an "Index to the Supplement", followed by almost two full pages of "Directions to the Binders".
___DESCRIPTION: Full tree calf, the spine with gilt decorative borders and ornaments, red and black spine labels with gilt lettering and volume numbers, gilt patterns along the edges of the boards, top edges stained brown, fore- and bottom edges speckled brown, black-and-white engravings throughout each volume; octavo size (8 3/8" by 5 1/4"), pagination: Volume 1: [1-3] 4-416; Volume 2: [1-3] 4-400; Volume 3: [1-3] 4-400; Volume 4: [1-3] 4-405 [406-408, publisher's ads]; Volume 5: [i-v]  2-360; Volume 6: [i-ii] 17-24 (first Supplement), 66-416 (second Supplement), pp.  2-18 being the Index (which, according to the "Directions to the Binder", were intially intended to be bound at the front of Volume 6); note that the "Index to the Supplement" has no entries for any page between 24 and 66, thus it seems that this odd pagination is correct as published. Tasteful prior owner armourial bookplate on the front paste-down endpaper of each volume of the Rev. William J.G. Phillips, A.M., Vicar of Eling, Hampshire.
___CONDITION: A solid very good set overall, with clean boards, the leather smooth and supple, the text blocks strong and square; the first volume with some light pencil markings to the Ex-Libris (likely a prior bookseller), all volumes with light rubbing to the joints with a few beginning to crack but hinges and text blocks are still strong, some rubbing to the heads and tails of the spines, to the corners, and to the edges of the boards, and most corners are gently bumped, some light soiling throughout the interior pages of each volume, with some creasing to the first flyleaves in a few volumes; of the sixty plates listed in the "Directions to the Binders" the set is lacking the frontispiece to Volume 3 (however, the digital copy online also has no frontis in that volume) and the plate found in Volume 4 between pp. 50 and 51 (digital copy supplied); a few leaves with short closed tears or small chips in the margins, one leaf with the lower fore-edge corner missing (Volume 2, pp. 173-174) with very slight loss of text (just a letter or two, digital copy of those pages supplied); and although the final page in Volume 5 has a catchword which normally indicates additional text, the digital copy of this book also had no additional pages.
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