The Life of George Washington 5-Volume Set by John Marshall, First London Edition with All Maps - Printed for Richard Phillips by T. Gillet, 1804-1807

Marshall, John. The Life of George Washington. London: T. Gillet for Richard Phillips, 1804-1807. First english Edition. 5-volume set including 12 maps. Rebound in quarter leather boards and housed in archival slipcase.

This first English edition of The Life of George Washington by John Marshall was published the same years as the American edition, but also includes various folding maps and plates in the editions, negating the original need for a separate accompanying atlas volume. The engraved maps include Boston, New York Island, New Jersey, the northern wilderness, etc. Volumes one and two were both published in 1804, volumes three and four were published in 1805, and the final volume including the majority of the maps was published in 1807. All five volumes have been rebound in matching quarter leather and cloth boards with decorative gilt spines. The set is housed together in a custom archival slipcase.

Shortly after Marshall became Chief Justice, he was approached by Washington’s nephew, Bushrod, to write the first president’s official biography. Probably no man was better suited to the task. As a personal friend of Washington, Marshall had been the one to announce the President’s death in 1799, offered the eulogy, chaired the committee that arranged the funeral rites, and led the commission to plan a monument in the capital city. This notable work with Gilbert Stuart’s famous portrait of Washington, made known to the British public through this engraved frontispiece, was done by Royal engraver James Fittler. When Marshall’s Life of Washington appeared, it was considered so authoritative that Washington scholar, Jared Sparks, suggested any new biographical undertaking would be “presumptuous” (Sparks, Washington I:12).


Overall very good condition. The pages have marbled edges that are faded and internally the pages are toned from age, but have no other notable damage. All folding maps are present in the volumes. The books have been professionally rebound in quarter leather and cloth boards and decorative gilt spines. All five volumes are housed together in a matching custom archival slipcase.

Dimensions: 11.5" H x 9.25" W x 9" D (all volumes with slipcase).

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