London: Benjamin Motte, 1726.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Very Good. Item #002619
8vo (193 x 120 mm). xii, 148, , 164; , 154, , 199  pp., engraved portrait frontispiece by Sheppard after Sturt in volume 1, 5 engraved maps and 1 engraved plate of the automatic writing machine, woodcut head and tail pieces, plus other small decorations. Contemporary blind panelled calf, spines with 5 raised bands and with gilt-lettered morocco label in first compartment and the gilt monogram of George Clarke in 2nd compartment, joints of vol. II and upper joint of vol. I cracked but holding, spine ends little chipped, corners scuffed. Internally only very little age-toned. Gathering of signature "N" in Vol. II not originally bound in, but inserted and probably supplied from another copy. First and last several leaves with dampstaining to gutter, else the text generally quite clean and bright. Provenance: George Clarke* (gilt monogram on spines and autograph monogram on each title page); Richard V. Lee, M.D. (bookplate to front pastedowns). A handsome, wide-margined set in contemporary untouched binding with interesting provenance. ----
Teerink 290; PMM 185; Rothschild 2104. BOTH VOLUMES FIRST EDITION, SECOND ISSUE (Teerink's "AA" state), published in November 1726 (the first issue was published 28 October 1726 and sold out within a week). The frontispiece portrait is in the second state printed on paper with vertical chain lines, with printed inscription "Captain Lemuel Gulliver of Redriff. Ætat. suæ LVIII"; misprint "subsidues" present in Part I, p. 35, line 5; p. 74 in Part III is correctly numbered (was mis-numbered "44" in first issue); Part IV, p. 52, line 1 has the corrected "but his" present; plus other points mentioned by Terrink for the AA state.
No other English prose work is so multi-faceted. Of its time and timeless, it succeeds as a Scriblerian satire, burlesque travelogue, moral fable, anti-novel, adventure in science fiction, a uniquely loved children's book, and personal psychodrama. One of its great qualities is the kind of verisimilitude normally associated with Defoe. In contrast to Defoe, however, the world which Swift makes believable is one of exalted fantasy. "'Gulliver's Travels' has achived the final apotheosis of a satirical fable, but it has also become a tale for children. For every edition designed for the reader with an eye to historical background, twenty have appeared, abridged or adapted, for readers who care nothing for the satire and enjoy it as a first-class story." (PMM 185).
*George Clarke (1660-1736), scholar and virtuoso, friend of Alexander Pope, Tory politician and benefactor of Worcester College, Oxford.
Price: 5,500 € * convert currency
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