Sketches of Portuguese Life, Manners, Costume, and Character. Illustrated by Twenty …
Sketches of Portuguese Life, Manners, Costume, and Character. Illustrated by Twenty …

A. P. D. G. Sketches of Portuguese Life, Manners, Costume, and Character. Illustrated by Twenty Coloured Plates.

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A. P. D. G. Sketches of Portuguese Life, Manners, Costume, and Character. Illustrated by Twenty Coloured Plates. London: Geo. B. Whittaker, 1826.

8vo. Mid 20th-century half calf over marbled boards, spine lettered and ruled in gilt; pp. 4 (publisher's catalogue), xxv, [3], 364, 20 hand-coloured aquatint plates after the author and of leaf of engraved sheet music; extremities a little worn, one plate cut out and mounted as frontispiece (this a little spotted and with light fraying to margins); initially a little spotted, title-page with fraying to margins and on a stub; otherwise good.
Scarce first edition of this monograph of daily life in Portugal, mainly in Lisbon. The British author, who in 1793 at the age of 20 had entered the Portuguese civil service, a job he quitted a year later 'unable any longer to resist the torrent of intrigue to which every foreigner in that service is subjected' (p. vi). However, during the Peninsular War his knowledge of country, language and manners of the Portuguese became useful and he joined the victualling department of the British army in Portugal. The book grew out of the author's sketches (three exceptions, depictions of executions, among them that of Gomes Freire de Andrade, the top military leader accused of conspiracy againd the monarchy in 1817), which he wanted to accompany by short explanatory notes, which grew into entire chapters, in order to convey the otherness of Portuguese life as opposed to British protestant tastes and societal norms. 'The text gives a vivid account of the state of society in Portugal at that time; the Author was in the Portuguese Civil Service for many years, and the subjects of the plates are, he says, nearly all scenes of which he was himself an eye-witness' (Prideaux p. 320).
Abbey 141.

#2119873