London: James Nisbet, 1859. First Edition. 12mo (16cm). Contemporary half-calf over marbled boards; gilt spine in six compartments; marbled endpapers and page edges; 296pp. Copy of the prominent Boston reformer and temperance lecturer John B. Gough, with his ownership signature and a lengthy presentation to him, dated 1859, from a John Lang, Dundee [Scotland?]. Corners and spine ends rubbed and touched-up; else a tight, VG copy.
Gough was by many accounts the first American public "celebrity," a reformed drunkard who capitalized on his past to become the most highly-paid and highly sought-after lecturer of his generation. The present volume - a somewhat simpering account of missionary work among the London poor - has been inscribed to Gough by one John Lang. While we cannot say with confidence that this inscription is from the Australian barrister and author of that name (generally regarded as the first Australian novelist), we can note that both Gough and Lang were engaged on a tour of Great Britain in 1859 and that it is not entirely unlikely that their paths might have crossed in Dundee, whence the inscription is datemarked.