4to., pp. xxii, 69, ; with half-title and a sixteen-page list of 961 subscribers; apart from slight fraying a very good copy, uncut, in original blue-grey wrappers and tan paper spine.
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The Sorrows of Werter: a Poem …
First edition. Amelia Pickering’s ‘melancholy, contemplative poem’ (Todd) was one of a spate of works in English and German founded on Goethe’s novel, including poems by Charlotte Smith and Mary Robinson, both subscribers here. Pickering ‘gives to Charlotte a voice, if rather weakly moralistic, and to Werter suffering which is acute, credible and unhysterical’ (Feminist Companion citing ‘The Sorrows of Young Charlotte: Werter’s English Sisters’, Goethe Yearbook, 1986).
Mary Wollstonecraft, however, was not enthusiastic. ‘To pity Werter we must read the original ... The energy … is lost in this smooth, and even faithful, imitation … Werter is dead from the beginning: we hear his very words; but the spirit which animated them is fled …’ (Analytical Review, January 1789).
Speck Collection 1155.
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THE NEWARK PIRATE’S SURREPTITIOUS REPRINT BYRON, George Gordon, Lord.
Poems original and translated … Second Edition.
Unacknowledged reprint of the ‘second’ [i.e. first] edition of Poems original and translated, printed by Ridge without Byron’s permission. As the first printing ran out Ridge told Byron that he had reprinted some sheets to make up a few more copies; in fact he was to continue to reprint the whole volume surreptitiously on paper watermarked 1811. John Murray later noticed either this imposture or the spurious ‘large paper’ copies of Hours of Idleness, and informed Byron who replied, ‘I have no means of ascertaining whether the Newark Pirate has been doing what you say – if so – he is a rascal & a shabby rascal too – and if his offence is punishable by law or pugilism he shall be fined or buffeted’ (5 February 1814).
MILTON, John. Paolo ROLLI, translator.
Del Paradiso perduto Poema inglese.
First edition of the first complete Italian translation of Milton’s Paradise Lost, the second issue, with a cancel title-page dated 1736 and further enumerating Rolli’s academic titles. Rolli started to work on this translation in 1719, publishing the first six books in London in 1729. Still incomplete, Rolli’s work was placed on the Index librorum prohibitorum in January 1732. The complete translation was finally published in 1735 by Charles Bennet (‘Despite the change in imprint to Charles Bennet, Samuel Aris [who had printed the first six books] probably printed the entire poem, for his signed ornaments appear on sheets throughout the work’, Coleridge, p. 207), and then often reprinted throughout the eighteenth century.