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South East Asian Art, Antiques & Rare Books
South East Asian Art, Antiques & Rare Books

A History of New York, Diedrich Knickerbocker (Washington Irving), 1836


A History of New-York, From The Beginning of the World to The End of the Dutch Dynasty.

Containing Among Many Surprising and Curious Matters, The Unutterable Ponderings of Walter the Doubter, The Disastrous Projects of William the Testy, and The Chivalrous Achievements of Peter the Headstrong, the Three Dutch Govenors of New-Amsterdam: Being the Only Authentic History of the Times that ever hath been Published.

By Diedrich Knickerbocker (aka Washington Irving). This book is actually a political satire written by Washington Irving, who published advertisements about the missing Dutch Historian, Diedrich Knickerbocker. He used the hoax in which the hotel, whose hotel bill remained unpaid, threatened to publish the manuscript he had left behind, unless he returned. The hoax generated interest in the book which was a huge success.

Published by Thomas Tegg and Son, 1836, London.

This is a handsome copy in a fine binding, which would make an attractive addition to any library. The book has been completely rebound in three quarters leather, with marbled boards, and raised bands and gilt decoration to spine. The contents are soundly bound inside. 

Text is very good. Would be near fine in terms of quality, except for: p47 - 3mm x 7mm corner torn, p196 - 7mm x 60mm tear at top of page (probably as issued - the missing section still attached to p197, where paper was not cut through properly. Of the 4 illustrations listed, the frontispiece facing title is missing, tissue guard is present, the 'Death of Walter the Doubter' is facing p201 instead of p153, and 'Peter Stuyvesant and the Pig Tail' is absent, with only the tissue guard remaining. The 2 remaining plates have some staining. There are a few places on the vertical text edges with have small nicks - this will have been as a result of pages not being perfectly cut on publication. Even with faults, still a most attractive little volume.

xxvi + 397pp + plates.

Dimensions: Approximately 160mm high x 114mm wide x 30mm.