PRIVATE EDITION :: PRESENTATION COPY

Ion; a Tragedy, in five Acts. To which are added a few Sonnets. Second Edition.

London: Printed by A. J. Valpy ... for private Circulation. Not published. [1835]

8vo., pp. xxi, [3], 216; a very good copy in contemporary calf, joints rubbed; autograph presentation inscription (slightly shaved) to Charles Shaw Lefevre, a fellow M.P., with Lefevre’s later bookplate as Viscount Eversley.

£250

Approximately:
US $333€278

Add to basket Make an enquiry

Added to your basket:
Ion; a Tragedy, in five Acts. To which are added a few Sonnets. Second Edition.

Checkout now

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.

‘Talfourd’s most important legacy was his poetic tragedy Ion ... an extraordinary success when first performed at Covent Garden Theatre, London, on his birthday, 26 May 1836 ...’. Talfourd ‘had circulated the play privately to influential individuals, including Wordsworth, Robert Southey, and Gladstone, which ensured that the theatre was packed with the most distinguished audience contemporary reviewers could remember, including Dickens, Robert Browning, Walter Savage Landor, Pitt, Melbourne, Lord Chief Justice Denman, Lord Grey, and Lady Blessington’ (Oxford DNB).

This was not a good period for the serious English stage, and Ion, which was performed continuously for over a year, helped with its regeneration. It ‘was also politically significant .... Talfourd used Greek models [Euripides, Sophocles] to legitimize contemporary political developments, especially the Reform Act (1832), the abolition of slavery (1833), and the democratizing acts following the municipal corporations commission (1835) ...’. The conclusion (Ion reforms the judiciary, disbands the army, and commits suicide) ‘was particularly politically charged, since the ancient Greek democracies were in 1836 still ... associated with the dangerous radicalism of Thomas Paine and William Cobbett... (Ibid.).

There were three regularly published editions in 1836 and four more the following year.

Wordsworth’s Library, ed. C. L. and Alice C. Shaver, p. 305.

You may also be interested in...

MURDER IN THE SERAGLIO BARON, Robert.

Mirza. A Tragedie, really acted in Persia, in the last Age. Illustrated with historicall Annotations.

First edition of Baron’s last literary endeavour, a violent revenge tragedy influenced by Jonson’s Catiline, mostly in verse, packed with political intrigue, murders ‘and Seraglio’s too’, all fitting subjects for its exotic setting. Not intended for performance, which been impossible during the Commonwealth, it was meant instead to be ‘read and carefully digested’ and is, ‘by the standards of its day, an exceptionally long and elaborate play’ (Birchwood, Staging Islam in England).

Read more

SIGNED BY STRAVINSKY STRAVINSKY, Igor.

Berceuses du chat. Suite de chants pour une voix de femme et trois clarinettes. Mis en Français par C.-F. Ramuz. Partition d’Ensemble.

First edition of Stravinsky’s settings of four traditional Russian folk songs: ‘Spi kot’ (‘Sur le poêle’), ‘Kot na pechi’ (‘Intérieur’), ‘Bai-bai’ (‘Dodo’), and ‘U kota kota…’ (‘Ce qu’il a, le chat…’). The settings, for alto voice and three clarinets, were composed in 1915-16 when Stravinsky was in exile in Switzerland. They are similar in style to his ‘Pribaoutki’ (‘Nonsense rhymes’) of 1914, and are dedicated to Natalia Goncharova and Michel Larionov. The front cover is signed and dated ‘Igor Strawinsky, Dec. 1917’.

Read more