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(DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.) The Annual Register, or a View of the History, Politics, and Literature for the Year [1773-1801]. 29 volumes. 8vo, contemporary uniform calf, minor wear, some joints cracked, 1778 and 1799 lacking title panels on backstrip, rear cover of 1801 volume detached; 1779 and 1790 volumes lacking front free endpaper; armorial bookplates of early owner Major General Paget on front pastedowns, overlaid by unidentified armorial bookplates, modern bookplates of William H. Flayhart III on front free endpapers of 1775-1777 and 1781 volumes. London, 1774-1802
Best known for the 1776 edition, which is often cited as the first British printing of the Declaration of Independence in book form. The Declaration appears on pages 261-264, under the heading "Reasons assigned by the Continental Congress, for the North-American Colonies and Provinces withdrawing their Allegiance to the King of Great-Britain." Other American highlights include the Articles of Confederation in the 1775 volume, pp. 252-255, and the United States Constitution in the 1787 volume, pp. 289-299.
Each volume offers a "History of Europe" for the previous year, a chronicle of events, and official state papers; and a separately paginated section of biographical and scientific essays, poetry, and book reviews. As the Register functioned as a "Year in Review," a single volume was initially published in the year following the one discussed. Many issues were later reprinted, but the present set appears to be composed only of first editions. The volumes for the years 1783-1799, however, were printed behind schedule, and the 1784 and 1785 issues were published as one volume in 1787 owing to "the heavy business of the late extensive war." The 1792 issue was bound in two volumes. This set was formerly owned by Sir Edward Paget (1775-1849), who served as the British military commander-in-chief in India, 1823-1825.
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