[London]: Printed for the author, 1788. First Edition. Leather bound. 8vo. Contemporary quarter leather binding with marbled boards and speckled edges. Vol. 1: xvi, , 326. Vol. 2: , 326.
Contemporary bookplate inside both covers from Cholmondeley Library which has left shadow on facing pages. Vol. 2 bears the inscription "For the Earl of Orford," which would have been Horace or Horatio Walpole. Very minor wear to edges. Interiors are perfect with no foxing or damage of any kind.
This is a first edition set of finely bound memoirs by eccentric nobleman Thicknesse. Thicknesse was a notoriously petty and scandalous figure who was infamous for provoking rival authorities with outlandish, insulting gestures. His "gift" of a wooden cannon to Lord Orwell (detailed in the second volume of the memoir) was considered so insulting that it resulted in Thicknesse being sued for libel and imprisoned for 3 months. Upon his death, Thicknesse willed that his severed right hand be shipped to his hated son, the Baron Audley, "to remind him of his duty to God after having so long abandoned the duty he owed to a father, who once so affectionately loved him." According to his biographer, "To anyone who has made a close study of Philip Thicknesse, there come occasions when he can but marvel that nobody ever shot him or bludgeoned him to death."
This memoir was particularly scandalous, as much of it focuses on the poor character of his terrible son, the abovementioned Baron Audley. Thicknesse at least seemed to be self-aware of his reputation, as the "Errata for both Volumes" only states "The Author is in his Seventieth year, and never pretended to be an accurate Writer." A very rare 3rd volume to the memoir was published in 1791, but most copies were destroyed by Baron Audley. Near fine. Item #2356