An Introduction to Mensuration, and Practical Geometry.

London: J. Johnson, 1794. Small 8vo, xii, 276 pp.A very good copy in original calf, slightly worn at corners and spine ends and with a small defective patch on spine and another at left upper corner of front cover. Spine showing cracks at edges and at 4th/5th signature junction, but binding still holding, though weak. In a protective clear acetate wrapper. Internally very clean, with usual offsetting from vignette to half title and slight browning to endpaper margins. The 4th edition, corrected and improved, the first being in 1782. Blake's engraving of Stothard's design for the title page vignette is here in its 3rd state. Of the first three editions, the first is known in one copy, the second Bob Essick found after 30+ years, and the third edition I have seen once. Bonnycastle was the Mathematical Master of the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich. His multiple mathematical textbooks were all highly successful, with new editions appearing in the UK and USA decades into the 19th century. The single engraving---a vignette on the title page---has been attributed to Blake. According to Essick, “Its attributation to Blake depends on a proof of laid India paper signed in the plate ‘Stothard, del’ (left) and ‘Blake, Sc’ (right) . . . The subject of Bonnycastle’s handbook and the habits of mind it represents may have influenced Blake’s characterization of Urizen, his desire for ‘one weight, one measure,’ and his use of ‘a line & a plummet | To divide the Abyss’ in The Book of Urizen.” (Essick, William Blake’s Commercial Book Illustrations, 1991, p.27. Bentley, BB, 436 D (only one copy of this edition noted). (Item Id: 108771)

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