The Present State of Ecclesiastical Architecture in England
1843, by A W Pugin, and belonged to a victim of the Abergele Rail Disaster in 1868
First edition (probable second issue), full leather with five raised bands, contrasting title label and gilt decorations to spine, bevelled edges, boards with gilt margin and all edges marbled. 22.5 × 14cm, 158pp + 36 plates.
This copy belonged to Priestley Augustus Edwards and is signed to him on his leaving Eton College in 1864 by a friend (Arthur J Clayton). Edwards was to be killed with his father four years later in the Abergele rail disaster (August 20, 1868) when a runaway carriage laden with barrels of paraffin collided with the Holyhead Irish mail express. This copy also carries the more recent bookplate of Richard Michael Robbins, a railway administrator (he worked for London Transport from 1939, and served as Managing Director (Railways) from 1971 until retirement in 1978) and historian. His extensive library of railway history books is now at the University of Manchester.
This book consists the text of two lengthy essays by Augustus Welby Pugin written for the Dublin Review in 1841 and 1842, in which the architect discusses church building, design and restoration. He had converted to Catholicism in 1834 and there is much admiration in his writings for the upkeep of Catholic churches. The illustrations are bound in at the rear of the book and many carry his monogram. They consist of views and plans of churches and some interior decorations.
This is a very attractive copy with the leather in good shape. The front joint is weakening to the lower 10cm but is still well attached (but should be handled with care). Light rubbing to the edges and spine ends. The inner binding is secure, the main body of text is in very good, clean condition. The first sixteen plates are clean, the second set (which includes fold-outs) are quite heavily browned and foxed. However, this remains a very good copy.