Archives for Books & Manuscripts

Rules for Drawing Caricatures : with an essay on comic painting

Born in London; antiquary, draughtsman and lexicographer, Grose used a method of drawing caricatures based on the exaggeration of the parts of their body and their relation to one another. Lovers’ tiffs, debating antiquarians and cheating husbands all feature in his illustrations, as well as
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British Zoology

A Welsh naturalist, Pennant visited many little-known areas of Britain, and this travelogue, featuring engraved colour plates, was widely acclaimed. His “guide book” style was particularly popular. His accounts take his readers from his own front door, and along carefully described routes, detailing the scenery,
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A Discourse Concerning Old-Age

This 17th century treatise, Steele advises us, is ‘a plain discourse’ designed ‘to instruct, to warn and to comfort the weaker sort of ancient persons’. The author explains that although old age begins at 50 years of age, by adopting ‘a cheerful heart, a sober
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The English House-Wife

This handbook for housewives provides a fascinating insight into the domestic world of women, containing ‘all the virtuous knowledges and actions…which ought to be in any complete housewife’. From butter churning to birthing-pain ‘cures’, sausage pudding recipes to syphilis treatments, Markham advises on every conceivable
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Nekrokēdeia or, The art of embalming

An 18th century surgeon, deeply fascinated with the customs of death, Greenhill was a staunch supporter of embalming – believing it to be as important as anatomy or surgery. Too fragile to display open, this book offers fascinating insights into 18th century attitudes to death,
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Picturesque views on the River Thames

Ireland, himself an avid collector of books, pictures, and curiosities, tapped into the contemporary fashion for the sublime and picturesque, by producing a popular series of ‘Picturesque’ tours and views during the 1790s. Here, with the aid of a series of beautiful prints, he fashions
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Anthropometamorphosis : man transform’d or, The artificial changling

In this curious work on comparative cultural anthropology, English physician Bulwer, best known for his work on communicating with the deaf via gestures; casts his eye towards lands both exotic and familiar, discussing subjects as diverse as women’s maladies, eunuchs and breast feeding, together with
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Pharmacopoeia Londinensis or, The new London dispensatory

Self-proclaimed professor of physick, Salmon provides the reader with a wealth of advice on cure-alls for diseases as diverse as small pox and gastric wind. Like many medical “professionals” of his era, Salmon freely mixes medicine, alchemy and divination as remedies to the many diseases
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