Small 8vo. in fours, pp. , 74, with an engraved frontispiece and six other engraved plates by Sebastien le Clerc (some offsetting); a good copy in modern full calf; contemporary marginalia in English and French (vocabulary notes and a few comments).
US $155 €147
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Aminta; Favola boscareccia …
First Foulis Press edition of Tasso’s famous pastoral verse play of 1573, an attractive production with plates from a miniature French edition by the French artist Sebastien le Clerc, acquired by Robert Foulis on his European travels.
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WITH CONTRIBUTIONS BY JOHNSON BARETTI, Giuseppe.
An Introduction to the Italian Language. Containing Specimens of both Prose and Verse ... with a literal Translation and Grammatical Notes ... for the Use of those who ... attempt to learn it without a Master ...
First edition. Giuseppe Baretti (1719–1789) offers a fine range of examples for learning Italian selected from twenty-seven authors, including Castiglione, Machiavelli, Galileo, Boccaccio, Ariosto, Tasso, Michelangelo, Petrarch, and Milton (one of his Italian sonnets, a choice perhaps prompted by Johnson). Johnson met Baretti shortly after he came to England in 1751, and their long and close literary friendship is well known. He made some contribution by way of preface or dedication to most of Baretti’s books. Here the preface and the footnotes on pages 48 and 198 were attributed to Johnson by James Crossley in Notes and Queries in 1852; the consensus now is that Johnson wrote only the opening paragraphs of the preface, but ‘there is no strong reason to doubt the footnotes’ (Fleeman).
The constant mistress ... with engravings by Eric Gill.
No. 174 of a limited edition of 300 copies. Enid Clay was Eric Gill’s sister; he also provided engravings for her Sonnets and Verses (1925). Gill’s collaboration with the Golden Cockerel Press was enormously successful: ‘For a while the Golden Cockerel was Eric Gill’ (Fiona MacCarthy, Eric Gill p. 187). ‘No other wood-engraver of the period comes near to Gill’s originality and verve’ (ODNB).