This book, first published in 1849 in 2 volumes, was evidently sufficiently popular to merit a 'new edition' in 1853, condensing the 2 volumes into one. The shrines described are not necessarily - indeed, not at all - religious, but the birth-places or dwellings of a variety of famous Englishmen, such as John Bunyan, Thomas Gray, James Barry (a Scot, of course), the artists Gainsborough and Hogarth, and even the famous village of Eyam. Illustrated throughout with engravings by F W Fairholt, FSA, this was a handsome book designed to grace any library.
Anna Maria Hall (1800–1881) was an Irish-born writer who often published as "Mrs. S. C. Hall". From the age of 15 she lived in England, and she married Samuel Carter Hall, himself a writer on art. She was a fairly prolific author, producing novels, children's books, and collections of 'sketches' which had appeared in various journals.
Our copy is in very nice condition for its age, the original green cloth covers only lightly age-worn (slight rubbing & tearing of spine angles, corners bumped with no frank damage, a little fading to edges and sunning to the spine, and only minor shelf wear to top & tail of spine). The covers are decorated overall with impressed design of leafage, with a gilt decorative leafy panel on front and back containing the title & author's name in faux Gothic lettering, and an all-over leafy gilt design on the spine, again with title etc in the same lettering. This is believed to be a design by William Henry Rogers. All page edges are gilt. Inside, the binding is generally firm with no loose pages, but one or two points of weakness; some very slight foxing on the first 18 pages, but pages otherwise generally clean and bright; front endpaper undamaged, rear one slightly cracked; binder's label at foot of rear cover. This is not an ex-library copy, which may account for its excellent condition.