BORLASE, William

Antiquities, historical and monumental, of the county of Cornwall.

London: Printed by W. Bowyer and J. Nichols. 1769.

Second edition, extensively revised and regarded as the best. Folio (367x230mm), pp. xvi, 464. Two maps (one double page), twenty-five plates (one double page) and ten vignettes in the text (a total of thirty seven illustrations, all engraved). Contemporary diced russia, gilt, panelled spine with double raised bands. Marbled endpapers, front pastedown has bookplate of Robert Frederick Green dated 1909. Light spotting to maps and slight offsetting from plates, otherwise very clean and fresh. A handsome copy in excellent condition throughout.
William Borlase was a Cornishman by birth and devoted his life to the recording of Cornish antiquities and natural history. He was in many ways an archetypal eighteenth-century antiquary with a fascination for the physical remains of his region (which contained some of the most impressive English megalithic monuments after Wessex) and a taste for the recovery of the historical origins of his culture. The Antiquities records his own surveys of the stone monuments of Cornwall, with plates after his own drawings, and relates them to the ancient religion of the druids, thus presenting the megaliths as temples of the earliest British religion.

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