Thomas Pennant A Tour in Wales, Vol. II. London Henry Hughes (1st Edition, 1783)

Libraries Week 5-10 October 2020

For this year’s Libraries Week we invited our staff and volunteers to write a short piece on a book or journal from our Library that they found particularly useful for their work, that has influenced them in some way or that they just love.

The results have been fascinating and can be seen all this week on our social media channels. Not only do they showcase some of the wonderful material we hold in our Library but also shed light on what has inspired them in their careers and helped formulate their interests.

I hope you enjoy!

Penny Icke – Information Services Manager

Thomas Pennant: A Tour in Wales, Vol. II. London: Henry Hughes (1st Edition, 1783) 

Thomas Pennant A Tour in Wales, Vol. II. London Henry Hughes (1st Edition, 1783)

Condition: Fair. Covers in very poor condition: rubbed and chipped with cover edges exposed where leather torn or entirely worn away, with loss of, or damage to, gilt tooling. Corners v. bumped. Leather on front and rear covers very discoloured and front cover entirely detached …. 

For 12 months, from November 2018, I was privileged to be asked by the Royal Commission Library to help record, describe and value digitally its boxed collection of 162 rare and antiquarian books. This turned out to be one of the most satisfying episodes of my life, made even more pleasant by my colleagues Penny, Lynne, Rhodri and Ywain. 

An extract from one record appears above. Polymath Thomas Pennant (1726-98) was born at the family home of Downing, Flintshire and known as a naturalist (correspondent of Gilbert White), antiquarian, geologist and inveterate traveller, especially in Wales and Scotland (praised by Dr Johnson). He published widely and employed Moses Griffith (1747-1819), the well-known Welsh water-colourist of wildlife, landscapes and buildings, to provide illustrations. By all accounts Pennant was an ‘amiable’ man with a wide circle of friends and correspondents. 

‘Pennant’ has lately become, for different reasons, a notorious name in North Wales but I have not been able to discover any close connection between Thomas and the slave-owners of Penrhyn Castle. 

The first edition in the Library collection is bound in full calf with gilt tooling but, as recorded above, is not in good condition. It is one of the volumes recommended for restoration. 

Rob Anthony – Volunteer

Even though our library is presently closed you can go on a virtual tour and browse the shelves, or search our library catalogue.

10/05/2020

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