London: Printed for the Authors; And sold by J. Harrison, No.18, Paternoster Row; the Booksellers of Oxford and Cambridge; and all other Booksellers in Great Britain and Ireland. 1779. Presumed first and only edition. Hardcover. *** A conundrum *** (see below). Unpaginated: illustrated. OT & Apocrypha: [iv], ; NT: , ; plus a frontis and 49 other engravings. Some browning and offsetting to title page, there are a few patches of foxing (viz Chronicles 2, and a few of the plates), with occasional minor spotting elsewhere, and there is some offsetting from the illustrations to the New Testament. Three of the final leaves have damaged edges, now repaired, but losing a little text. Pages perhaps slightly toned, but contents otherwise clean and in very good order. Although many of the plates have integral titles in English, the engravers, where given (no artists' names present) all appear to be French, except in the NT. In his one-page Preface, the author writes, after asseverating the importance of the Bible: '..a few Words may also be expected respecting this Edition of the Bible, and the Annotations that we have given: But how judiciously soever this Work may appear to be executed, the Public must not consider it as the sole Fruit of the Author's own Genius and Learning, or that of his learned Associates; but as the Comments and Annotations of the most ingenious Men of every Age and Nation. He has called in the Aid and Assistance of every valuable Writer. He has compiled from the Talmudical and Rabbinical Writers among the Jews, and has carefully consulted the Ancient Fathers, and the best Modern Divines, among the Christians..' (etc). In view of the scale and nature of the project, it is perhaps noteworthy that there are only 142 subscribers listed, and that, of these, none are titled, and only 10 are Reverends, although there are a few Esquires. This copy belonged to one of the subscribers, Nathaniel Langborne of Whitby, of whose family and successors there are extensive entries, occupying the verso of the frontis and five blank pages at the back, the latest date recorded being 1903. Square folio (10.5 x 8.5 ins), in the original decorative full calf gilt, rubbed but restored: boards ruled in blind and decorated in blind and gilt, somewhat eroded, newly reconditioned and rebacked with four raised bands, with sections of the original very eroded decorated gilt spine laid down between them. *** N.B.: *** This work is something of a conundrum. There is no record of it in Herbert or the ESTC, or on Copac or WorldCat, or at Lambeth Palace. The 'Rev. Charles Stanhope' does not appear in the The Church of England Clergy database, and there is no record of any Stanhope having been Rector of Brinkworth. However, someone calling himself the Rev. Charles Stanhope does appear as the author of 'The New Polite Tutoress, or, Young Ladies' Best Instructor' of c.1786, as well as having overseen the publication of 'The New Lady's Magazine, or, Polite and Entertaining Companion' which began publication in 1786. Both of these were published by Alexander Hogg, of 16 Paternoster Row, ie: next door to Harrison, the publisher of the present work, reinforcing the likelihood that they are further, if less elevated, endeavours of the same Stanhope. Very Good. Item #17791203
[EXTRA Heavy Item] (More photographs of this book can be seen on my website).