3 vols., 12mo., lightly browned; a very good copy in later nineteenth century half plum morocco and marbled boards, gilt, joints and corners rubbed.
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The Tragedies of Vittorio Alfieri; translated from the Italian … In three Volumes …
First edition of this translation, which Lloyd undertook ‘on the suggestion of a friend whose judgement I highly respect’. This friend was likely Southey, who he addresses as his ‘sponsor’ in the ‘Dedicatory Sonnet’. He held Southey in high esteem, and benefited from his friendship through testing times. Lloyd’s temperament was always difficult, but in 1811 he began to suffer serious auditory delusions, which clouded the rest of his life in periodic spells of insanity. De Quincey suggests that he began the Alfieri project to divert his mind from the onset of madness, and held that Lloyd was amongst the most interesting men he had known.
Lloyd explains his aim to ‘catch perspicuously the general meaning of Alfieri, without at all binding myself down for a literal word-for-word translation, or to a close imitation of his style’. This is indeed a work of some poetic licence, although he maintains the original’s eight dedications to various nobles, including Charles I ‘an unfortunate and dead king’, and General Washington ‘the most illustrious and free citizen’. These, especially the final dedication to ‘The future People of Italy’, convey Alfieri’s hopes for the rousing lessons of antiquity.
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Secrets worth knowing; a Comedy, in five Acts. As performed at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden …
First edition of a comedy by the prolific dramatist Thomas Morton (first issue, with the epilogue beigging on F4 and four rather than five pages of ads). A prodigal son conceals his marriage to ensure his legacy, with unfortunate consueqences; it was ‘in some parts ludicrous and bordering on the improbable but on the whole affording an entertainment’ (European Magazine).
KING, Samuel William.
The Italian Valleys of the Pennine Alps: a Tour through all the Romantic and Less-Frequented ‘Vals’ of Northern Piedmont, from the Tarentaise to the Gries . . . With Illustrations from the Author’s Sketches, Maps, &c.
First edition. The traveller and scientist King (1821-1868), who was a member of the Alpine Club, made this expedition through the Alps with his wife, and explains in his opening chapter that, ‘Our project was, after crossing the Alps, to explore and traverse, from head to foot, all the remote and less frequented valleys of Piedmont, which descend from the steep southern face of the great Pennine chain, from Mont Blanc west to Monte Rosa east’ (p. 4). The routes of these journeys, which are ‘described in delightful detail’ (Neate), are shown in the folding map at the end of the volume, and the work also contains much on the history, archaeology, geology, and natural history of the area. Perret considers the account, ‘un ouvrage intéressant caractéristique du “pre-golden-age”, peu courant’.