Maton, William George; Observations Relative Chiefly to the Natural History, Picturesque Scenery and Antiquities of the Western Counties of England, Made in the Years 1794 and 1796. Illustrated by a Mineralogical Map and sixteen Views in Aquatint…Two volumes, Salisbury, J. Easton, 1797. Octavo, vol. 1, pp. half title, vi, 336, 8 plates. Vol. 2, pp. half title, 216, 16, 4, 8 plates, folded mineralogical map.
The set is complete and in a later half Morocco and linen with gilt spine titles. Boards slightly warped due to binder error. Owner’s catalogue number removed from lower spine leaving a light smudge mark. Very light damp margin to outer edge of volume 1. Plates and map are very clean.
William George Maton (1774-1835) was an English physician and naturalist with a special interest in plants. He was a Fellow of the Linnean Society and a Fellow of the College of Physicians of London. Maton was to become associated with the Royal Family. During the oppressively hot summer months, Maton set up his medical practice in Weymouth in the western part of England. It was here that he spent time observing the natural history of the region. This led to his publication of the 1797 work on Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. Volume one covers parts of Dorsetshire, Devonshire and Cornwall with a focus on the mining industry of Cornwall. Volume two covers parts of Dorsetshire, Somerset, and parts of Devonshire. The b/w mineralogical map is probably the first attempt at a mineralogical/geological map of the region.