The Eccentric Mirror: reflecting a faithful and interesting delineation of Male and Female Characters, ancient and modern, who have been particularly distinguished by extraordinary qualifications, talents, and propensities, natural or acquired, comprehending singular instances of Longevity, Conformation, Bulk, Stature, Powers of Mind and of Body, Wonderful Exploits, Adventures, Habits, Propensities, Enterprising Pursuits, &c. &c. &c… Collected and re-collected, from the most authentic sources, by G.H. Wilson. In four volumes.

  • Wilson, G.H (ed.)
  • London: Printed by and for J. and J. Cundee 1813


SKU: 2047 Category: Tags: ,


4 vols., 12mo, pp. iv, 34, 38, 36, 36, 36, 38, 34, 36, 48, 24, [6]; 36, 36, 36, 36, 36, 36, 36, 36, 36, 36, [6]; 36, 36, 36, 36, 36, 36, 40, 34, 34, 36, [6]; 36, 40, 32, 36, 36, 36, 42, 28, 36, 14, [4] + 40 plates (including a frontispiece in each volume) and 4 engraved series title-pages (one in each vol.). Originally issued in parts, here bound as four volumes in contemporary half calf, marbled boards, spines lettered in gilt and decorated in blind. Two plates loose but present in vol. 2. Plates foxed (a few heavily), a few small edge-tears, poor-quality paper sometimes browned. Bindings quote rubbed, spine ends worn, front joint of vol. 2 cracking but strong. Bookplate of Peter Sawers to front pastedowns.


The second edition (first 1806-7) of this popular collection of short biographies of people notable for anything from their genius to their notable experiences or unusual physical attributes. Part of a wave of works on similar themes following the turn of the century, this was among the cheaper and more populist of the early versions, retailing initially in 40 parts, each with a plate. (It was soon undercut by more compressed and unillustrated compilations.) The subjects treated are impossible to summarise but include misers, actors, con artists, 'feral' children, transvestites, painters, and the unusually short and tall, as well as those who survived injury.

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