The Origin and Progress of Writing, as well Hieroglyphic as Elementary, illustrated by Engravings taken from Marbles, Manuscripts, and Charters, ancient and modern: also some account of the Origin and Progress of Printing. Second edition, with additions.

  • Astle, Thomas
  • London: Printed by T. Bensley… for J. White 1803


SKU: 4039 Category: Tag:


4to, pp. [viii], xxiv, 240 + frontispiece and 32 plates (9 folding, 9 hand-coloured). Errata slip tipped in facing p. 2. Contemporary half sheep, marbled boards, red morocco label. Some plates toned and a bit foxed, a small area of worming to top margin at beginning. Binding rubbed, corners a bit worn. Ownership of A. Irvine (1806) to title-page.


The preferred second edition (first 1784) of the first important English-language work of palaeography, 'a wide-ranging piece of scholarship, with excellent plates of facsimiles of scripts, engraved by B. T. Pouncy' (ODNB). Thomas Astle (1735-1803) drew on his own outstanding collection of manuscripts and charters for the work; his collection eventually made it to the British Library as part of the Stowe manuscripts.

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