DEDICATED TO WALPOLE’S ITALIAN MISTRESS

Il Riccio rapito Poema eroicomico … tradotto dall’Inglese in Verso Toscano dedicato all’illustrissima Signora Elisabetta Capponi Grifoni.

In Firenze. 1739. Nella Stamperia di Francesco Moücke.

8vo., pp. xv, [1], 85, [1], with a half-title; extreme lower outer corner gnawed, else a very good, crisp copy in contemporary stuff vellum, lettered by hand.

£650

Approximately:
US $869€736

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First edition in Italian of The Rape of the Lock, translated into verse by Andrea Bonducci (1715-1766).

The Abate Bonducci, whom Horace Walpole had met in Italy (Bonducci showed him a volume of Guercino drawings he later coveted), dedicates his translation to Signora Grifoni. During Walpole’s time in Florence he was ‘the Grifona’s’ cicisbeo (the professed lover of a married women) and she is referred to frequently in his later correspondence (‘the serene Princess Grifoni’ etc.). The poem here is prefaced by an introduction in the form of a letter to Grifoni by Abate Giuseppe Buondelmonti (Walpole later translated a poem by him): he approves of Pope as a Catholic author, singles out cantos 2 and 4 for especial praise, and commends Pope’s ability ‘to adapt his style to different subjects … without ever being prosaic, base, or tedious’.

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