WEST, Thomas. ~ A Guide to the Lakes, in Cumberland, Westmorland, and Lancashire. By the author of The antiquities of Furness...The third edition, revised throughout and greatly enlarged. London: for B. Law, Ave Mary Lane; Richardson and Urquhart under the Royal Exchange; J. Robson, New Bond Street; and W. Pennington, Kendal, 1784.
8vo (208 × 118 mm), pp. [iii-] xii, 306, (blank), plus engraved frontispiece and large folding map, bound without half-title. Offsetting from frontis to title and to the map. Contemporary sprinkled smooth calf. Spine ruled in gilt, red morocco label, slightly rubbed. A very good copy.
First published in 1778, this important Lakeland guide had reached no less than 11 editions by 1821. Its picturesque vision was hugely influential and can be credited, at least in part, with establishing the Romantics’ interest in the Lakes. ‘Drawing freely on the work of previous writers, notably Thomas Gray, Thomas Pennant, and John Brown, and very much reflecting the contemporary interest in what West himself calls ‘landscape studies’, the Guide is nevertheless a work of considerable individuality, displaying a real sensitivity to the visual qualities of the district. The recommended 'stations' for viewing the landscape were a significant innovation. The author's antiquarian passion and his curiosity about industrial activities are clearly evident. The Guide undoubtedly did much to popularize the district (Oxford DNB).