wordsworth's authoritative account of greece.
WORDSWORTH, Christopher. Greece: Pictorial, Descriptive and Historical. London, William S. Orr and Co., 1839.
8vo. Contemporary tan calf, tooled in gilt and blind, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt; pp. xxviii, 356; steel-engraved frontispiece by R. Brandard after F. Hervé, retaining printed tissue guard, steel-engraved additional title with vignette by E. Radclyffe after T. Creswick, 24 steel-engraved plates by E. and W. Radclyffe, Brandard, H. Adlard, et al. after W. Purser, Copley Fielding, Hervé, et al., all retaining printed tissue guards, 2 steel-engraved maps by and after John Dower, wood-engraved head- and tailpieces, and illustrations and maps in the text, every illustration, even small wood-engraved vignettes with tissue guards; head and tail of spine with a little wear, marking to covers, but holding very firm, apart from light spotting to several steel-engravings, as ususal, internally very clean.
First edition, the issue with the earlier date, this issue with captions printed on the tissue guards (copies are also known with the captions printed on the plates). Wordsworth (1807-1885) was the younger son of Christopher Wordsworth (1774-1846, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge and the younger brother of the poet William), and was educated at Winchester College and Trinity College, Cambridge, where 'a host of college and university prizes followed. In 1830 he graduated senior classic in the classical tripos and fourteenth senior optime in the mathematical tripos; he won the first chancellor's medal for classical studies and was immediately elected a fellow of Trinity and subsequently an assistant college tutor. His distinction in classical languages was such that he was later singled out to translate into Greek and Latin messages from the English episcopate to leaders of foreign churches. He began to travel in Italy and Greece and made his mark in the field of inscriptions and exploration: in 1832 he went to Paestum and to Pompeii, where he was the first to decipher the graffiti. In Sicily he developed an interest in Theocritus, the subject of later writing in 1844. During a prolonged visit to Greece and the Ionian Islands he made a conjecture as to the site of Dodona which was later corroborated. He was the first Englishman to be presented to King Otho' (ODNB). Shortly after his return to England, Wordsworth was ordained as a priest (1835), and was appointed Public Orator in Cambridge in 1836 and (in the same year) Headmaster of Harrow School. 1836 also saw the publication of Wordsworth's first book based on his visit to Greece, Athens and Attica: A Journal of a Residence There, a 'very interesting and detailed description of the Attic peninsula' (Blackmer 1839), which was reprinted in 1837 and then followed by the present work. Greece: Pictorial, Historical and Descriptive was issued in 12 parts (in 11) through the course of 1839, with a preface dated 27 November 1839.