Title: Fairburn's Genuine Edition of The Book, ...
Publisher: London: Printed by R. Edwards.
Publication Date: 1820
Book Condition: Good
Edition: 4th Edition
Complete, pp: additional engraved title-page with frontispiece, [v], vi-viii, 240 (erroneous jump in pagination but complete, the signatures collate as complete ), 243-246; , 110. Illustrated with two portrait engravings of the Prince Regent and Princess Caroline. The contents generally good with some toning, the top-right corners of the appendix lightly folded and soiled - yet good. 20th century bookplates on front paste-down endpaper. 21cm x 13.5 cm. Contemporary marbled calf boards rebacked to style, refreshed endpapers. The boards corners lightly chipped but good. Later spine good. Spencer Perceval (1762- 1812) was a British Tory from 1809 until his assassination in May 1812. Perceval is the only British prime minister to have been assassinated. He is the only solicitor-general or attorney-general to have become prime minister. During his period in opposition, Perceval used his legal skills to defend Princess Caroline, the estranged wife of the Prince of Wales, during the "delicate investigation". The Princess had been accused of giving birth to an illegitimate child, and the Prince of Wales ordered an inquiry, hoping to obtain evidence for a divorce. The government inquiry found that the main accusation was untrue (the child in question had been adopted by the Princess), but it was critical of the behaviour of the Princess. The opposition sprang to her defence and Perceval became her advisor, drafting a 156-page letter to King George III in her support. Known as The Book, it was described by Perceval's biographer as "the last and greatest production of his legal career". When the King refused to let Caroline return to court, Perceval threatened publication of The Book. But Grenville's ministry fell again over a difference of opinion with the King on the Catholic question before The Book could be distributed. As a member of the new government, Perceval drafted a cabinet minute acquitting Caroline on all charges and recommending her return to court. He had a bonfire of The Book at Lindsey House, and large sums of government money were spent on buying back stray copies. A few remained at large and The Book was published soon after his death. Provenance. Engraved bookplate of Martin Hopkinson (1883-1947); shield with pick-axe & roses surmounted by a watermill with scroll beneath with inscription in Greek. A second bookplate in the name of Robert Allan. No copies of this edition located in British Library, WorldCat, or Jisc and no other copies currently available for sale. Bookseller Inventory # 5034