London: Published by Cadell and Davis, Strand, 1808. First edition. The Cayley translation of Utopia is the third translation of that work. [iii]-viii, 342; , 356 pp. Copper engraved frontisportraits of Sir Thomas More and Erasmus. Binding extremities lightly worn. Intermittent light foxing and offsetting from frontisportraits. Occasional light browning, minor twentieth century ink marginalia, and engraved armorial bookplate of Thomas Webster on front end pastedown. Ink signature and inscription of John Burns (1921) on preliminary blank. Contemporary ink signature of previous owner, Charles M. Clarke, on title pages of both volumes. A very good copy. Contemporary half green morocco over marbled boards with a five-paneled spine tooled and lettered in gilt. Top edges gilt. Two volumes in one. Thick quarto. Item #16908
Arthur Cayley (1776–1848) entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1792. He took orders in 1813, and in 1814 was presented to a Yorkshire rectory. He wrote two historical biographies: The Life of Sir Walter Raleigh (1805) and Memoirs of Sir Thomas More, with a new translation of his Utopia, his History of King Richard III, and his Latin poems (1808). The present work was designed to reassert the integrity of the subject in reaction to Horace Walpole's Historic Doubts (1768).
Thomas Webster (1772–1844) an early member of the Geological Society and, from 1812 to 1827, its curator, librarian, and draughtsman. In the summer of 1827, after failing to gain improved remuneration and terms of employment, he lived by public lecturing on geology, consultancy work, geological illustration, and commissioned writing, including the compilation of An Encyclopaedia of Domestic Economy (1844). Charles M. Clarke is likely Sir Charles Mansfield Clarke, first baronet (1782–1857). After obtaining the College of Surgeons' diploma, he adopted midwifery as his specialty in 1804. He received a Lambeth MD in 1827, and was created baronet in September of 1831. His only published work was Observations on those Diseases of Females which are Attended by Discharges (1814–21).