BOYLE, Robert.

The Works of the honourable Robert Boyle.


The Works of the honourable Robert Boyle.
In six volumes. To which is prefixed the life of the author.
London, W. Johnston, S. Crowder, T. Payne et al., 1772.

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Attractive set of the works of the founder of the Royal Society, containing the results of his experiments and investigations into fields such as air, colours, heat and cold, blood and medicines, as well as writings on theological topics. The book’s editor Thomas Birch, a historian, had little difficulty justifying the publication of Boyle’s complete set of works, though he had been dead more than 50 years: “The general reasons for collecting into one body the works of the honourable Robert Boyle are as obvious, as the excellence of the several parts of them is universally acknowledged.” Birch’s confidence was undoubtedly warranted, for Boyle’s writings had informed the research of 18th-century chemists, physicists and physicians, and his efforts to harmonize science with religion had lost little of their original potency and appeal in the 18th century. Birch sought to include all of Boyle’s works in their latest printing, in order to represent Boyle’s final say on any given topic

With fine provenance: The library at Tatton Park, Cheshire, contains 8,000 volumes, with a further 4,000 elsewhere in the collection. It is one of the largest and most important collections within the National Trust. For the Egerton family, the library was an academic as well as a recreational resource. A sizeable disposal, mainly plate books, incunablula, and manuscripts, was made in the last century.


Six volumes, 4to. (30 x 24 cm), frontispiece portrait engraved by Baron after Kersseboom, engraved title-page vignettes by Gravelot, 24 engraved plates on 16 sheets incl. 14 folding. Contemporary russia, covers ruled in gilt, spines in six compartments, gilt lettered direct in second and third, raised bands ruled in gilt, marble endpapers; light wear, neat repairs to joints and extremities, a very handsome example.

Provenance: Egerton family, Tatton Park (bookplates).


Fulton 241; ESTC T113550.


Stock ID: 81776