HEBER, Reginald, and Nicolas BARKER [ editor]. A Letter from India. Cambridge, The Roxburghe Club, 2020.
Foolscap folio. Original cloth-backed orange paper covered boards, silhoutte of Heber embossed in black on front cover, pictorial endpapers; pp. 69, portrait and fascsimiles in the text; as new.
Very rare first edition. The edition is limited to 150 copies of which 40 have been bound in red levant morocco and cloth for the Roxburghe Club and 110 bound in Fedrigoni Tintoretto Ceylon Curry paper by Smith Settle, Yeadon.
A hitherto unpublished long and illustrated letter by the Bishop of Calcutta, scholar, poet and writer of still popular hymns, artist and authority on Russia, friend of Byron and Scott. 'Everything about it[the letter] suggests that Heber took particular care with the writing, in both senses, of his letter. For that reason, it has been reproduced in complete facsimile, accompanied by a page by page transcript of the text. Surrounding this is a brief summary of Heber’s life before he went to India, and of his family, including his half-brother Richard, the great book-collector, and his formidable widow, Amelia, as well as an account of his travels in India up to the moment of his sudden and widely lamented death in 1826. This has been supplemented by material, Heber’s commonplace book (containing poems sent him by Byron), editions of his books and books about him, his own beautiful water-colour drawings, and a fine mezzotint after the portrait by Thomas Phillips, gathered from the sales from Hodnet at Christie’s in 1967. The apparatus concludes with an account of this by the editor, Nicolas Barker, senior member of the Roxburghe Club and author of The Roxburghe Club: a Bicentenary History' (Roxburghe Club).