A Series of Views Illustrative of the Island of St. Helena / by James Wathen Esqr.
Wathen, James. A Series of Views Illustrative of the Island of St. Helena. London: John Clay, Robt. Jennings & John Major,. 1821.
Wathen, James (1821) A Series of Views Illustrative of the Island of St. Helena. London: John Clay, Robt. Jennings & John Major,.
Wathen, James, A Series of Views Illustrative of the Island of St. Helena. London: John Clay, Robt. Jennings & John Major,. 1821.
A very attractive copy of James Wathen's magnificent drawings. The author spent "not quite 3 days" on St. Helena in the summer of 1812, making no fewer than 13 drawings, 2 of which were published in his 'Journal of a Voyage to Madras and China' of 1811, and eight of which appear here. Two other sketches; the View of Longwood & and the title vignette of Napoleon's tomb, are "the result of a later performance". Abbey notes that the portrait does not appear in all copies.
Wathen was a glove-maker from Hereford. A keen walker and self-taught artist, he went on numerous walking tours in Britain and Ireland, especially after his retirement, producing fine topographical sketches along the way. The war in Europe prevented travel on the continent in the early part of the 19th century, encouraging Wathen to travel further afield, namely a trip to India and the Far East aboard Captain James Prendergast's ship The Hope.
Wathen published an account of his travels in 1814, illustrated with his own highly accomplished drawings. The voyage took in St Helena, affording Wathen a brief opportunity to sketch the island, and although two of those images appeared in his Journal of a Voyage to India and China, the others remained unseen until the publication of this work.
The Advertisement, anonymously written, gives some idea of their splendor: 'That solitary speck in the vast Atlantic, which looks as if loneliness and loveliness had at once marked it for their own, is here faithfully shewn in all its wild and romantic lineaments, and from these representations those who may never look upon the original scenes, may yet highly enjoy them in such correct reflections'. This is a scarce publication.
First edition. 4to. Engr. front. (portrait of Wathen after Archer James Oliver), title-page with hand-colored aquatint vignette, illus. with two woodcut tailpieces & nine hand-colored plates (one folding, neatly backed with silk).
The plates, engraved on copper by I. Clarke, are preceded by an Advertisement, a five-page descriptive account of the island, and an explanatory list of the plates.
London : Published for the proprietor, by T. Clay, Ludgate Hill, Robt. Jennings, Poultry & Ino. Major, Skinner Street, September 1821.
7,  p., 10 [i.e. 11] leaves of plates : ill., port. ; 30 cm.
Abbey Travel 314; Bobins 117, Not in Tooley.
List of Images
Publisher: London: John Clay, Robt. Jennings & John Major,
Date Added: 2019-06-21