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ANTIQUARIAN BOOK

An Account of Five Aerial Voyages in Scotland

LUNARDI (Vincent).

LUNARDI (Vincent).

AN ITALIAN TAKES TO THE SKIES OF SCOTLAND

An Account of Five Aerial Voyages in Scotland
in a Series of Letters to his Guardian, Chevalier Gerardo Compagni, Written under the Impression of the Various Events that Affected the Undertaking, By Vincent Lunardi Esq. Secretary to the late Neopolitan Ambassador, First Aerial Traveller in England, an Honorary Member of the Hon. Artillery Company of the City of London, Royal Archer of Scotland, Citizen of Edinburgh, Cupar, St. Andrew's, Hawick, &c. &c.

Engraved frontispiece portrait by Burke after Nesmith and two engraved plates, of the "Apparatus used by Mr. Lunardi to fill his Aerostatic Machine" and "An exact representation of Mr. Lunardi's Balloon travelling with himself".

First Edition. 8vo. [215 x 130 x 15 mm]. [iii]-6, 114, [2] pp. Newly bound in calf, untrimmed edges.
London: printed for the Author and sold by J. Bell, Bookseller to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, and J. Creech, Edinburgh, 1786

Lacking the half-title; the portrait is trimmed at the fore-margin with small loss to the image; neat repairs to short marginal tears I3-4 and N3-4. The work was originally stab-sewn, and the holes remain. A few minor stains, but a decent copy in a neat new old-style binding.
On 15th September 1784 Lunardi (1759-1806) made the first hot air balloon ascent over London, as described in his own Account of the First Aerial Voyage in England (1784). He went on to make numerous other ascents, in places such as Liverpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Kelso and York. He took pains to describe himself as "the first aerial traveller in the English atmosphere", as James Tytler had already ascended in Scotland on 27th August 1784. This is the sole edition of his account of his Scottish adventures and is dedicated to the Duke and Duchess of Buccleugh. Pp.105-114 prints "To Mr. Lunardi on his successful Aerial Voyages from Edinburth, Kelso, and Glasgow. By J. Tytler" and the final page is an "Explanation of the Plate, Representing the Apparatus to fill the Balloon".
Lunardi's string of successes came to an end after a planned ascent on 23rd August 1786 from Newcastle upon Tyne at which a young man, Ralph Heron, became entangled in a rope and became the country's first victim of air travel. Lunardi left Britain in August 1787 and continued his ballooning expolits across Europe.

Stock no. ebc5348

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