8vo., pp. xxxvi, 179, ; uncut and partly unopened in the original publisher’s fine diaper cloth, spine lettered gilt, sunned; ticket of the Aberdeen booksellers D. Wyllie & Son.
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The Birds … Translated by the Rev. Henry Francis Cary … With Notes.
First edition. ‘Given how much there is in Aristophanes to outrage and violate nineteenth-century manners and sensibilities, it may seem surprising how popular he was. The popularity came at the price of bowdlerizing much of the “grossness”, but there was admiration and even a certain yearning for his unbuttoned earthiness as well as for his aerial levity …
‘Henry Francis Cary, translator of Dante, turned out the first metrical version of The Birds in mainly iambic heptameters (“fourteeners”). This was one of many attempts to match the rollicking rhythm of the Greek’ (The Oxford History of Literary Translation into English, vol. IV, p. 184). It also contains the first appearance of the word ‘Cloudcuckooland’ (p. 76).
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The Works … in two Volumes …
First edition, dedicated to ‘my dear Coleridge’: a selection of poems, essays and letters, as well as John Woodvil and Rosamund Gray. There are also five poems by Charles’s sister Mary.
John Woodvil a Tragedy ... to which are added, Fragments of Burton, the Author of the Anatomy of Melancholy.
First edition. John Woodvil was Charles Lamb’s first play (or dramatic poem), regarded by him at one time as his ‘finest effort’, a ‘medley (as I intend it to be a medley) of laughter and tears, prose and verse, and in some places rhyme, songs, wit, pathos, humour, and, if possible, sublimity’ (Lamb to Southey, 28 November 1798). He began it in August 1798 and considered it ‘finish’t’ in May 1799, but continued to tinker with it for nearly three years. John Philip Kemble declined it for production at Drury Lane in 1800, and it was never acted.