London: Henry Colburn, 1828. First Edition. Vol. I: xix , 591  pp.; Vol. II: viii, 730 pp. (lacking Colburn's 2-page ads). With 11 (of 13) plates after original artwork by Lady Emily Elizabeth Swinburne Ward, 5 of which are folded (8 aquatints of which one is hand colored, and 3 lithographs), 5 wood-engraved text illustrations, 1 folded engraved map (of 2 - see plate and map list below), tables in text. 2 vols., 8vo (216 x 130 mm), modern half calf over marbled boards, smooth spines, red morocco labels. Text, plates, and maps in excellent condition. Very good. Item #3633
First edition of this "classic book on Mexico" (Streeter). The exquisite plates were created from the original art work of the author’s wife, Lady Emily Elizabeth Swinburne Ward (1798-1882). A near-contemporary review states that Ward's is "The most systematic and complete work of which we are in possession respecting Mexico." (SOURCE: London Literary Gazette, January 7, 1832, No. 781, p. 62). Our copy has been very handsomely rebound and contains one map (of two) and 11 plates (of 13), thereby allowing us to offer the set at a very significantly reduced price.
Concerning the importance of Ward's "Mexico in 1827," Tony Burton explains: "The first British Charge d’Affaires in Mexico was Sir Henry George Ward (1797-1860). Ward entered the diplomatic service in 1816, and first visited Mexico in 1823, as a member of a British government commission assessing the desirability of establishing trading relations following Independence. The following year, he married Emily Elizabeth Swinburne, who accompanied him on his return to Mexico in 1825 in his role as Charge d'Affaires. Two years later, Ward wrote a detailed description of how he saw Mexico. Mexico in 1827, which contains illustrations by his wife, was an early appraisal of the fledgling Mexican Republic, and was published on his return to the UK. Ward’s book provides numerous details of trade, mining, economic activity and topography [...] Ward was not only anti-Spanish, but also decidedly anti-American. His main goal, apparently, was to try to prevent the USA from expanding its territory at the expense of Mexico. The British diplomat believed that the incorporation of Texas into the Anglo-American states was inevitable unless the Mexican government could stem the wave of immigrants flooding southwards into the region [...] The Mexican government was relatively unstable at this time, with frequent changes of leaders and some inconsistency in policies. Ward summed up the political situation that he encountered as one in which, after thirteen years of civil war, the form of government had still not been determined, with great differences of opinion existing with respect to the desired degree of central authority. He found it difficult to conceive of any country less prepared than Mexico for the 'transition from despotism to democracy.' [Ward] promoted the signing of a UK-Mexico treaty of friendship, trade and migration, but the UK gradually lost influence in Mexico despite Ward’s best efforts. [His] greatest concern was that the USA might one day gain control over Texas ports. This would put them only three days away by boat from Tampico and Veracruz (Mexico’s main trading port) and mean that Mexico was vulnerable to invasion. Ward's worst fears in this regard were realized later in the nineteenth century (the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848)." (SOURCE: Burton's excellent article "Mexico Once Tried Hard to Prevent Americans from Migrating to Texas" is online at MexConnect).
LIST OF MAPS:
[***1]. LACKING Map of Mexico.
2. Map of Routes to the Principal Mining Districts in the Central States of Mexico [below neat line] London, Published by Henry Colburn, New Burlington Strt. April 1828 Engraved by Sidy. Hall, Bury Strt. Bloomsby. Neat line to neat line: 40.3 x 55.5 cm.
LIST OF PLATES:
1. Mexico. From the Azotea of the House of H. M’s Mission, San Cosme [below image] Drawn by Mrs. H.G. Ward. T.M. Baynes lithog. Uncolored folded lithograph.
[***2]. LACKING Agave Mexicana (uncolored aquatint)].
3. Canada de Marfil, Entry to Guanaxuato [below image] Drawn by Mrs. H.G. Ward. Pub: by H. Colburn, London, 1828. J. Clark, sculp. Uncolored folded aquatint.
4. Puente del Rey [below image] Drawn by Mrs. H.G. Ward. Pub: by H. Colburn, London, 1828. J. Clark, sculp. Uncolored aquatint.
5. Collegiate Church, of Nuestra Senora de Guadaloupe [below image] Drawn by Mrs. H.G. Ward. T.M. Baynes lithog. Uncolored lithograph.
6. View of the Town of Jalapa, with the Coffre de Perote [below image] Drawn by Mrs. H.G. Ward. Published by H. Colburn, London, 1828. On Stone by W. Gauci [below title] Printed by Engelmann & Co. Uncolored folded lithograph.
7. Chapultepec [below image] Drawn by Mrs. H.G. Ward. Pub: by H. Colburn London, 1828. J. Clark, sculp. Uncolored aquatint.
8. Hacienda de Chapingo [below image] Drawn by Mrs. H.G. Ward. Pub: by H. Colburn, London, 1828. J. Clark, sculp. Uncolored folded aquatint.
9. An Arastre, or Crushing Mill [below image] Drawn by Mrs. H.G. Ward. Pub: by H. Colburn, London, 1828. J. Clark, sculp. Uncolored aquatint.
10. The Galeria of the Hacienda de Salgado [below image] Drawn by Mrs. H.G. Ward. Pub: by H. Colburn, London, 1828. J. Clark, sculp. Uncolored folded aquatint.
11. Patio of the Hacienda de Salgado [below image] Drawn by Mrs. H.G. Ward. Pub: by H. Colburn, London, 1828. J. Clark, sculp. Uncolored folded aquatint.
[***12]. LACKING The Ascent to Catorce (uncolored folded aquatint).
13. Interior of an Indian Hut, El Bozal [below image] Drawn by Mrs. H.G. Ward. Pub: by H. Colburn, London, 1828. J. Clark, sculp. Hand-colored aquatint which includes an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe hanging on the wall.
REFERENCES: Abbey, Travel in Aquatint and Lithography 1770-1860, II, 688: "It is interesting to see the presence of aquatints and lithographs together in the book, and to notice, as Prideaux suggests, the superiority of the aquatints." Hill II, 1826. Palau 374005. Prideaux, pp. 257, 355 (incorrectly calling for 18 plates). Raines, p. 215. Sabin 101302. Streeter 1104: "Classic book on Mexico as the main reason for its inclusion, General Arthur G. Wavell’s account of Texas.... However, I hope the rarity of accounts of Texas in the 1820s makes its inclusion worth while. A minor reason is its inclusion of Simon H.G. Bourne's account of Sonora and Cinaloa, which is referred to in the note to Bourne’s Observations, London, 1828."