SOUTHEY’S COPY, WITH A LONG NOTE Altare Christianum: or, the dead Vicar’s Plea. Wherein the Vicar of Gr. being dead, yet speaketh, and pleadeth out of Antiquity, against him that hath broken downe his Altar. Presented, and humbly submitted to the consideration of his Superiours, the Governours of our Church.
London, Printed by Richard Badger. 1637.
AN ‘ENGLISH’ ROMANCE, THE ROXBURGHE COPY L’Histoire Palladienne, traitant des gestes & genereux faitz d’armes et d’amours de plusieurs grandz princes et seigneurs, specialement de Palladien filz du roy Milanor d’Angleterre, & de la belle Selerine sœur du roy du Portugal: nouvellement mise en nostre vulgaire Françoys …
Paris, Estienne Groulleau, 1555.
A SINGLE MAN POSSESSED OF A GOOD FORTUNE LEIGH, Sir Samuel Egerton.
Munster Abbey, a Romance; interspersed with Reflections on Virtue and Morality … in three Volumes … Edinburgh: Printed by John Moir … for W. Creech, Cross, and S. Cheyne … [and] for Hookham & Carpentar … Vernor & Hood … London.
First edition. Despite its ‘gothic’ title this is a novel of contemporary high life in England and on the Grand Tour, avoiding ‘extravagant descriptions of supernatural scenes and events’. Munster Abbey in Devon is the seat of the hero, Mr. Belford, a bachelor ‘happily possessed of a fortune, ample as his wishes’. This was Leigh’s only novel – he died at 26 – assembled by his widow from her husband’s ‘scattered papers’ and, the ‘Advertisement’ implies, possibly finished by her.
LAOCOON ENGRAVED REZZONICO, Carlo Castone della Torre di.
Discorsi accademici del conte … segretario perpetuo della R. Accademia delle Belle Arti.
First and only edition of an exquisite little product of the Bodoni house: Count Rezzonico’s reflections on the fine arts, including a dissertation on the techniques of woodcut and engraving. The Neo-Classical aesthetics that inform this work are reflected in the illustrations, masterfully executed by the painter, engraver and stucco artist Benigno Bossi. Perhaps the most remarkable is the depiction of the marble Laocoon, which had been made by Lessing the symbol of the aesthetic autonomy of poetry and painting.
ONE OF THE GREAT VICTORIAN NOVELS DICKENS, Charles.
Great expectations ... In three volumes. Vol. I [-III]. Second edition.
First edition, second impression, of one of the great Victorian novels, which was already in short supply in 1861. After Great Expectations had attracted a large readership in All the Year Round, Chapman and Hall were understandably cautious in their initial order for the novel as a traditional three-decker at 31s 6d, a format that had not been tried for Dickens before. Their accounts (in the Forster collection at the V&A) show ‘five successive payments to Whiting, the printer, for 1000, 750, 750, 500, and 750 copies’, the later impressions from standing type or stereotype plates (to judge from the reduced costs). This caution seems excessive as Mudie, the circulating library, took 1400 copies (Clarendon Press edition, pp. xliv-xlv).