For the first Fore Edge Friday of the year, we have two volumes of the fifth edition of English writer and moralist Hannah More’s, Hints Towards Forming the Character of a Young Princess, printed in London for Thomas Cadell and William Davies in 1819. Each volume bears a fore-edge painting, or painting under gold. When fanned, the fore edge of volume one reveals a painting of Windsor Castle, while volume two bears a bucolic painting of Frogmore Cottage on the grounds of the royal Windsor estates, the former home of the current Duke and Duchess of Sussex before stepping down from royal duties and moving to North America.
The volumes are full-bound in green, blind-tooled, straight-grain Morocco, and are housed in a blue Morocco book-form, pull-off case (which has seen better days) made by the notable London bookbinders Sangorski & Sutcliffe for the J. W. Robinson Company, a southern California department store company which maintained a book department.
More often than not, the subjects of fore edge paintings, which were usually commissioned by the book owner, had little to do with the book’s content. In this case, however, the choice of royal residences seems appropriate for a book containing advice for a young princess.