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Scott's Napoleon, Life of Napoleon Buonaparte , Emperor of the French by Sir Walter Scott , 1839 Edition,Stout Antique Book Leather Binding

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When one considers the immense productivity of Sir Walter Scott, just alone in the field of fiction and poetry, it is remarkable ... he produced a huge amount of work. One wonders where he then found the time to write this massive biography of Napoleon ... and it is truly a massive work, first issued in 1827 in 9 volumes. Subsequently the number of volumes, if not the length, were reduced. Eventually in 1834 the publishers W. & J. Bolles of New London, and Collins, Keese & Co. of New York collaborated to bring out a three volume edition. Down the road, in 1839 (this edition), they again reissued it, but in only one volume.

That's 3 volumes in one binding, and a huge fat book it makes - literally! They likely reduced the number of volumes to save on leather; but this fat single volume was bound in, I believe, sheepskin, which does not fare well through the years, being especially weak at the joints and extremities. And that is exactly what we see here, as the front joint has split and the binding threads were not strong enough to withstand the weight of such a fat book. Thus the front board is holding on, literally by a thread (hence the old phrase!). One can also see that the leather over the spine was very thin, and so has suffered the attack of time, with portions along the head gone missing and a segment at the middle also missing.

But what a satisfying volume to behold on the shelf. Such size! Just think of reading it all the way through, which is what somebody has done so long ago, for I spotted a few small marginal pencil marks well into the book. No surprise that someone way back when read it, for if ever there was a celebrity walking the face of the earth, it was Napoleon Buonaparte. Everybody was interested in his life. Some hated and feared him and some hero-worshipped him, even after his death. That one man could change the fates of nations and the path of history in such a large manner ... well that's what this biography is all about.

THE LIFE OF NAPOLEON BUONAPARTE, EMPEROR OF THE FRENCH
With a PRELIMINARY VIEW OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION.
By The Author of "Waverly," &c.
IN THREE VOLUMES (BOUND AS ONE)
W. & J. Bolles: New-London, Connecticut
Collins, Keese & Co.: New York
E. Williams, Printer, New-London
1839.

Fat octavo. Book contains one engraved portrait of Napoleon as frontispiece to vol. 1(it is a stipple engraving); 516 pages +399 pages + 368 pages plus lxix pages of Appendix bound at rear; 5 1/8" x 8 3/8" x 3"; full leather with title and decorative embellishments stamped on spine
Binding has the issues mentioned above (missing portions of leather on spine, split joint and partially detached board - rear board attachment must be considered tender. The text block itself is solid with no loose or detached leaves. The page edges are age-darkened. The paper is toned and foxed throughout, else the interior is basically clean and presentable with but modest signs of use - some corner bumps and creases, and the aforementioned marginal pencil marks which are not egregious - there do not seem to be many, or at least I did not spot many. (A professional book conservationist could correct the problem with the spine and hinges.)

Please note, the picture of the binding is a composite image, showing spine and front board .... the spine, as explained above, is not fully detached, but still hanging on. If you have any questions please feel free to convo me.
Josiah Booknoodle
Amy B.

Scott's Napoleon, Life of Napoleon Buonaparte , Emperor of the French by Sir Walter Scott , 1839 Edition,Stout Antique Book Leather Binding

Overview

  • Vintage item from the 1800s
  • Materials: boards, leather, paper, ink, thread, glue, gilding
  • Feedback: 214 reviews
  • Only ships to United States from New York, United States.
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