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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A COMMERCIAL DISASTER, WITH AN EPILOGUE BY FIELDING [JOHNSON, Charles].
Caelia: or, the perjur’d Lover. A Play. As it is acted at the Theatre-Royal in Drury-Lane, by His Majesty’s Servants …
First edition. Caelia, Johnson’s last theatrical production, is an attack on the fashionable libertinism of the day. As the Preface explains, however, he refused to take Barton Booth’s advice and expunge the vivid brothel scenes, and a fastidious audience answered with their pockets. The play, performed on 11 December 1732, was a commercial disaster, and Booth quickly sold off the rights to John Watts who published it with an epilogue by Henry Fielding. After Caelia had lost him his benefit at Drury Lane, Johnson abandoned his career as a playwright and seems to have run a tavern round the corner in Bow Street, Covent Garden (Oxford DNB). Cross III, 296.
PRIVATE EDITION :: PRESENTATION COPY [TALFOURD, Thomas Noon].
Ion; a Tragedy, in five Acts. To which are added a few Sonnets. Second Edition.
Second private edition of Talfourd’s blank verse tragedy, adding a small group of eight sonnets not in the first edition (also privately printed, 1835), and with a new preface: ‘Having exhausted the small impression which was originally printed of Ion, and finding that there are yet friends in whose hands I wish to place it ... I send it again to the press. I have availed myself of this opportunity ... to introduce considerable alterations.’ Among the friends to whom he presented a copy was William Wordsworth, who was to attend the first performance in 1836, having dined beforehand with Talfourd and Landor. Afterwards they had a celebratory supper with Macready, who had taken the leading role, and Browning.