Seven volumes (the volume labelled ‘VII’ being ‘Vol II. Part II’), small 8vo.; with a portrait frontispiece in volume I, half-titles in vols. II, III, V and II Part II, and an errata leaf at the end of II Part II, but without the leaf ‘To the Binder’ in vol. II; pp. 1-46 of vol. VI are bound at the end of vol. V (to make the volumes of similar dimension); a fine set in contemporary speckled calf, spines numbered direct, morocco labels (two wanting); contemporary armorial bookplate of Robert Gordon Esq. of Hallhead.
US $2252 €1914
A fine set of the small octavo Works - Pope's preferred format - including the scarce supplementary Vol II. Part II.
These sets were by no means cheap reprints of the folio and octavo formats, as Pope actually preferred the ‘neat little octavos’, for both aesthetic and financial reasons, and they went through four to six editions each. ‘Apart from restoring the traditional use of italic in them, Pope used successive editions to make significant revisions in the accidentals as well as the substantives of his text; and we know that he read proof for the volumes published for Lintot as well as those of his own printer and publishers’ (Foxon, Pope and the Early Eighteenth Century Book Trade).
It is publication of some bibliographical complexity. ‘The publishers appear to have planned at first to make this small octavo edition of Pope’s Works a four volume set. Gilliver set the form by printing his small octavo Works, vol. II, and the Dunciad (vol IV) as two “pocket volumes.” Then Lintot came into the undertaking, and re-printed what he had the copyright in – the Works [I] of 1717 – and some additional poems, as two more “pocket volumes.” ’ (Griffith). Volumes V and VI, printed for Roberts but ‘really prepared by Cooper (or possibly by Dodsley)’ and comprising the Letters, followed in 1737, and were evidently prepared with Pope’s participation. Rounding off the set, Vol. II. Part II is also important, ‘because it is the princeps of several short poems; of some others it embodies revisions, notably of Sober Advice’ (ibid.). Six minor poems appeared here for the first time.
Here, Vols. I-II are present in the second of two very similar editions (Griffith’s ‘b’ variants), printed in the same year but from different settings of type. Vols III-VI are first editions. Vol II. Part II is a second edition unknown to Griffith, who described a more complicated volume with cancels. Here pagination and signatures are continuous and there is an errata leaf. Of this latter volume ESTC shows only six copies in 4 locations (confusing matters by giving, erroneously, ‘Dublin’ as the place of publication).
A very good copy indeed of a coherent and complete set in attractive contemporary condition, and scarce thus.
Griffith 414 (‘b’); 389 (‘b’); 417 (‘a’); 431 (‘a’); 461; and cf. 507 (a variant).
You may also be interested in...
The Lives of Dr John Donne, Sir Henry Wotton, Mr Richard Hooker, Mr George Herbert … to which are added some Letters written by Mr George Herbert, at his being in Cambridge: with others to his Mother, the Lady Magdalen Herbert, written by John Donne, afterwards Dean of St. Pauls …
First collected edition of Walton’s celebrated lives of poets and divines. ‘If its rarity was as great as its merit it would be one of the most coveted books of the period’ (Pforzheimer). The biography of Wotton was published as part of Reliquiae Wottonianae (1651); Walton’s life of Donne first appeared in the edition of Donne’s LXXX Sermons in 1640; the biography of Hooker was first published in 1665; and The Life of George Herbert appeared in the same year as this edition.
COLERIDGE, S[amuel] T[aylor].
Poems … second Edition. To which are now added Poems by Charles Lamb and Charles Lloyd …
Second edition of Poems on Various Subjects, 1796, but in large measure a new work, with a third of the former volume omitted and replaced by new material, including the fine ‘Ode on the departing Year’. Thirty-six lines are added to the ‘Monody on the Death of Chatterton’ and other poems are heavily revised. This volume is also the first collection to include poems by Coleridge’s friends Charles Lamb (who had contributed a few sonnets to the first edition) and Charles Lloyd.