2 vols., 8vo., pp. xv, , xxiv, , 297, ; , -621, ; a fine copy in contemporary calf, green mottled edges, front joint of volume I cracking at head; bookplate and early signature of Lord Forbes.
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The Thebaid … translated into English Verse, with Notes and Observations and a Dissertation upon the whole by Way of Preface …
First edition: ‘the most successful English rendering of Statius’ Thebaid’ (Sowerby), translated into heroic couplets by William Lillington Lewis. ‘Ably captur[ing] the sublimity, eeriness, and violence of the original’, it was to be his only work (Oxford DNB).
‘As Lewis remarks in his preface, his was the first complete rendering, despite Statius’ reputation as the next best Latin versifier after Virgil. Lewis refers respectfully to Pope’s translation of Book I, from which he takes hints. But his rendering represents an essentially new start, with fewer liberties … The ease, flow, and consistent dignity which characterize Lewis’s version as a whole make it eminently readable’ (Robin Sowerby, The Oxford History of Literary Translation in English, eds. Gillespie & Hopkins, vol. III, p. 168).
Statius was one of three books Johnson subscribed to in 1767, the others being Francis Fawkes’ translation of Theocritus and Handel’s Messiah.
Donald D. Eddy & J. D. Fleeman, A Preliminary Handlist of Books to which Dr. Samuel Johnson subscribed (1993) 59.
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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).
SOUTHEY A SUBSCRIBER SANDERSON, Thomas.
Original Poems …
This collection, ‘written in a sequestered village’, includes ‘Shakespeare, the Warwickshire Thief’, ‘Elegy to the memory of Robert Burns the Scottish poet’, ‘Sonnet to the Right Hon. Edmund Burke’, and ‘Ode to the Genius of Cumberland’. Thomas Sanderson (1759-1829) was a schoolmaster and friend of the Cumbrian poets Robert Anderson, and Josiah Relph. He wrote a memoir of Relph, as well as an elegy which appears here, and compiled A Companion to the Lakes.