A Lost Sheep Found! ~ Bringing It Back to Chawton House…

Some excellent news for all you GLOSS followers and contributors. A Lost Sheep has been found at auction, won at the bidding, and now returned to the fold at the Library at Chawton House!

The Story:

A book showed up at the auction house of Dominic Winter in the UK – it was described as having the Montagu George Knight bookplate on the front endpaper. A check of the spreadsheet and the Reading with Austen website found the book listed in the 1818 catalogue of Edward Austen’s Godmersham Park Library – all very exciting. After raising a few funds we bid on the book and thankfully, it stayed just below our limit – it is now back where it came from… Huzzah!

The Book:

Hanway, Jonas. An Historical Account of the British Trade over the Caspian Sea: with the author’s journal of travels from England through Russia into Persia, and back through Russia, Germany and Holland. To which are added, the revolutions of Russia, during the present Century, with the particular history of the great usurper Nadir Kouli, 2 volumes, 2nd ed, London: 1754. Volume 2 is titled The Revolutions of Persia.

Two engraved frontispieces, nine folding engraved maps, 17 engraved plates, some light spotting and offsetting, circular armorial bookplates of Montagu George Knight of Chawton (1844-1914), contemporary sprinkled calf gilt, wear to two spine labels, a little rubbed and scuffed, 4to

Estimate: £300 – £400 – sold for £560 + buyer’s premium and fees.

Here are some images, soon to be posted on the website:

The Author:

A look at wikipedia’s brief life of Hanway reveals some interesting bits about this man, whose book has given us GLOSSers such a feeling of success:

Jonas Hanway, by James Northcote, c1785

Jonas Hanway (1712-1786) was born in Portsmouth, but moved to London after the death of his father. He was apprenticed to a merchant in Lisbon at the age of 17, later partnering with a merchant in St. Petersburg. This led to his extensive travels in Russia and Persia and the Caspian Sea, and later through Germany and the Netherlands and back to England. The rest of his life was mostly spent in London, where the narrative of his travels (published in 1753) soon made him a man of note. His other writings (seventy-four in total) were largely pamphlets of a society-improvement campaigning sort.

Known as a philanthropist and involved citizen, Hanway founded The Marine Society; he became a governor and later president of the Foundling Hospital; he was instrumental in establishing the Magdalen Hospital; he procured a better system of parochial birth registration in London; and he was appointed a commissioner for victualling the navy.

He died, unmarried, in 1786 and was buried in the crypt at St. Mary’s Church, Hanwell. A monument to his memory, sculpted by John Francis Moore was erected in Westminster Abbey in 1786.

Of interest to those of us who love tidbits of social history, Hanway was the first male Londoner, it is said, to carry an umbrella (women had been using them since 1705 – now there’s a blog post!) and was often challenged by hooting hackney coachmen. He was opposed to tipping, had controversial engagements with Johnson and Goldsmith over tea-drinking of all things, supported solitary confinement and proper care for prisoners,  and he worked on behalf of chimney-sweeps. What’s not to like about this fellow?!

AND, he wrote this book that one of the earlier Knights wanted in their library (was it Thomas or Edward we cannot know…)

If you want to know more about our umbrella-carrying author, here is a place to start: Roland Everett Jayne, Jonas Hanway: Philanthropist, Politician, and Author (1712–1786). London: Epworth Press, J. Alfred Sharp, 1929.

Shall end with this grand image and link to an Atlas Obscura essay all about Hanway and his umbrella:

(Original Caption) The First Umbrella–Mr. Jonas Hanway Walking Out In A Shower.

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-public-shaming-of-englands-first-umbrella-user

*******************

A hearty Thank You to all who contributed to our book-detective adventure!

Alas! – still so many more Lost Sheep to be found…please keep your eyes peeled, and any contributions to the cause would be greatly appreciated!

c2019 Reading with Austen blog
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