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WILLY’S BOOK OF BIRDS by Mrs. Mackie.

WILLY’S BOOK OF BIRDS by Mrs. Mackie.

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WILLY’S BOOK OF BIRDS by Mrs. Mackie.

by MACKIE, Susan Arabella, neé WALBANK

  • Used
  • Hardcover
  • first
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About This Item

FIRST EDITION. 8vo, pp. [iv], 44; hand coloured lithograph frontispiece, engraved title and 14 engraved plates, all coloured by hand; some light foxing in places, but generally clean throughout; bound in the original green blindstamped publisher's cloth, upper board lettered in gilt within a decorative gilt border, some darkening to spine and light sunning to boards, but not detracting from this being a very desirable item.


Almost certainly published to earn some capital as the authors husband Samuel Joseph Mackie had recently gone bankrupt and was being detained for a while at the Queen's Prison as an insolvent debtor.

Arabella - she appears to have preferred this name to Susan - states in the introduction that her models for the illustrations were taken from the showrooms of the naturalist, taxidermist and purveyor of various arsenic based poisons for pests, Buffon & Wilson of 391 Strand. Their premises had only recently been reopened after having been consumed by fire in 1857, they may have had some financial interest in the work to in getting their business restarted. The illustrations include: The Chaffinches Nest; The Sparrow; The Chaffinch; The Water Wagtail and Cuckoo; The Blackbird; The Moor-Hen; The Storm Petrel; The Cuckoo; The Swallow; The Robin; The Starling; The Owl; The Lark; The Nightingale; and the Canary. The work was later reissued by Darton and Hodge in 1862 and although the text is the same the number of plates was drastically reduced from fourteen to just six.

The author was born in 1828 at Moreton Hampstead on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon and later became a governess to the Moseley children of Buildwas Park in Shropshire. She married Samuel Joseph Mackie (1823-1902) one of the earliest founders of the Geologists' Association, who also played an important part in its formation during late 1858. Samuel was variously, an unmarried father, a customs official, a bankrupt, a geological publisher, a civil engineer, a journalist, an artist, lithographer and inventor. As Samuel was widowed in 1852 with three young children he probably thought Arabella a good match when they married the following year. Unfortunately with Samuel having gone bankrupt in 1857 and imprisoned, the couple lived a somewhat precious existence through the 1860's. Samuel was already editing and writing articles for his own journal The Geologist: a Popular Monthly Magazine of Geology, a precursor to the Geological Magazine at this time, and hence the imprint of the work being sold through his journals office.

We do not know much more of the author although she had a patent to her name in 1890 for a washing machine called 'The Torrent Washer.' What appears clear though is that both Arabella and Joseph lived a life always either on the edge of insolvency or actually insolvent. Arabella died in 1900 and her husband in 1902 when the the probate recorded his wealth at just £1 7s.

See Daron H1002; OCLC records two copies in the UK, at the Bodleian and the British Library, and one in North America, at Florida.

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Details

Bookseller
Pickering & Chatto, Antiquarian Booksellers GB (GB)
Bookseller's Inventory #
3220128
Title
WILLY’S BOOK OF BIRDS by Mrs. Mackie.
Author
MACKIE, Susan Arabella, neé WALBANK
Book Condition
Used
Quantity Available
1
Binding
Hardcover
Publisher
Published at the “Geologist Office”, 154 Strand.
Place of Publication
London
Date Published
1860
Weight
0.00 lbs
Bookseller catalogs
Children's Books; Women in Literature & Society;

Terms of Sale

Pickering & Chatto, Antiquarian Booksellers

30 day return guarantee, with full refund including original shipping costs for up to 30 days after delivery if an item arrives misdescribed or damaged.

About the Seller

Pickering & Chatto, Antiquarian Booksellers

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio member since 2021
Croydon, Surrey

About Pickering & Chatto, Antiquarian Booksellers

Pickering & Chatto has been dealing in rare books for the best part of two centuries. Since 2014 we have been based in the vestry of St. Clement's Church in the City of London, and have a stock of some 2000+ books, principally in the fields of literature, philosophy, social sciences, science and medicine, law and women's studies, from the fifteenth to the first decades of the twentieth century.Due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions our offices are at present closed. We are, however, always happy to receive any inquiries by email.

Glossary

Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

Spine
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....
Gilt
The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in...
Publisher's cloth
A hardcover book comprised of cloth over hard pasteboard boards. ...

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