FIRST EDITION, 8vo, pp. iv, 320. Untrimmed in modern blue paper boards, printed label to spine. Title-page soiled and chipped at corners, some soiling and spotting elsewhere.
Robert Mudie (1777-1842), born in Forfarshire, was by the 1820s a reporter for the Morning Chronicle in London, in which capacity he covered George IV's famous visit to Edinburgh, a subject which occupies the first 150 pages of this volume as well. The remainder is more general observations on Edinburgh and its inhabitants, mostly cutting and often tendentiously offering comparison to London. Mudie does not omit praise entirely ('In point of diversity of situation and beauty, and durability of building materials, few cities have the same advantages as the Athens', p.149), but he concludes that the advantages are being wasted and, inter alia, 'the Athens boasts of herself as a model of elegance and taste: I found her a compound of squalor and of vulgarity... She boasts of her public spirit: I found almost every man pursuing his own petty interests, by the most sinister and contemptible means' (p. 319).