AINSWORTH, WILLIAM HARRISON. 1805-1882.
The Tower of London: A Historical Romance. London: Richard Bentley, 1840.
8vo (250 x 159 mm). xvi, 439 pp. 40 steel-engraved plate illustrations and 58 woodcuts by George Cruikshank. Original brown cloth stamped in gilt and blind, in custom morocco slipcase.
Provenance: William Beckford (presentation inscription); H. Bradley Martin (bookplate).
A FINE COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION IN BOOK FORM, PRESENTED TO WILLIAM BECKFORD. Inscribed "William Beckford, Esquire. / From the Author." The first bound edition following the novel's successful issuance in monthly parts, this copy is inscribed to English author and eccentric, William Beckford. Famed for his vast wealth, hedonistic lifestyle, and unusual aesthetic predilections, in addition to authoring the first Oriental-Gothic horror novel in English (Vathek), Beckford constructed a tower of his own: Lansdown Tower, a lavishly decorated, 120-foot neo-classical structure that overlooked his entire estate. Ainsworth was Beckford's sometime correspondent. Cohn 14.