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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The Distress’d Wife. A Comedy. By the late Mr. Gay, Author of the Beggar’s Opera.
First edition, the issue with no press figures on pp. 8, 39, press figure p. 56: 3 (no priority). Gay’s comedy of the sexes revolves around Sir Thomas Willit’s attempts to inveigle his wife to leave London for the country, in order to reign-in her expenditure. Lady Willit abhors the idea, ‘Sure nothing can be more shocking than knowing the Day of one’s Death, except knowing the Day one is to be buried in the Country!’, and rails against his hapless ruses to lure her away from town. Confusion ensues as the gentlemen attempt to outwit the ladies and vice versa. Gay populates the cast with stock characters such as Willit’s uncle Barter, a sworn bachelor convinced of the evils of womankind ‘A Wife hath a thousand ways of blinding you … Flattery, Fondness, and Tears’.
‘THE BOOKSELLERS GROW RICHWITHOUT UNDERSTANDING THE BOOKS THEY SELL’ LETTERS ON THE FRENCH NATION
: by a Sicilian Gentleman resident in Paris, to his Friend in his own Country. Containing an useful and impartial Critique on that City, and the French Nation. Translated from the Original.
First edition of this translation, very rare, of a work first printed in French in Paris in 1700 (see below) and, in a different translation, in English in 1704 as An agreeable Criticism of the City of Paris.