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  • Paradise Regain’d a Poem in Four Books to which is added Samson Agonistes: and Poems upon Several Occasions – John Milton – 1753

    Paradise Regain’d a Poem in Four Books to which is added Samson Agonistes: and Poems upon Several Occasions – John Milton – 1753

    A second edition, with notes from various authors by Thomas Newton, published by Tonson, Draper and others, London in 1753.

    Bound as one thick octavo … First Volume – Paradise Regain’d over 203 pages after preliminaries; Samson Agonistes pages 207-325; Second Volume – Poems upon Several Occasions 386 pages plus “Index of the less common words occasionally explained and illustrated in the Notes”.

    Contemporary full leather binding rebacked at an early date, raised bands to spine with later in period title and author labels to the second and third compartments. Four copper engraved plates by Grignion from drawings by Hayman. Very little ageing or foxing a pretty clean set

    For those unfamiliar, Milton was hugely praised for his earlier work Paradise Lost. It is suggested that Quaker Ellwood had put to him “but what about Paradise Found” and from that suggestion Milton produced Paradise Regain’d which was first published in 1671. About one fifth of the length of Paradise Lost it is largely based on the temptations of Christ as recorded in the Gospel of St Luke.

    Samson Agonistes (Greek “the Champion) was published at the same time bound together as here. A tragedy that Milton never intended to be “played” … Samson the betrayal of Delila, losing his hair and consequently his strength and his sight (Milton was losing his at this time) and the destruction of the Temple. Handel based his famous oratorio on Milton’s work … the oft quoted expression “Eyeless in Gaza” was used by Aldous Huxley to title his novel of that name.

    The many poems include The Passion, On Time, Upon the Circumcision, At a Solemn Music, Song … On May Morning, On Shakespear [then spelling], A Mask. Sonnets include … To the Nightingale, On his being arriv’d to the age of 23, When the assault was intended to the City, To a virtuous young Lady, to the Lady Margaret Ley etc Psalms … numerous and in Latin

    Carries the bookplate of Robert Barker who was a tutor, Censor Philosophicus, Dean of Chapel at Queens’ College Cambridge at the time of publication. He was personal tutor to the Polish Prince Poniatowski.

    Mid 18th century Milton in full leather period binding


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  • Horace – Horatii Fiacci Opera – Munro and King – Bickers Binding – 1869

    Horace – Horatii Fiacci Opera – Munro and King – Bickers Binding – 1869

    A delightful copy of “Horace” illustrated by with well over 100 classical cameos or “gems” and bound in superb style by Bickers and Sons of London with their discrete stamp at the front.

    Published by Bell and Dalby, London in 1869. Large octavo, with 456 pages after preliminaries, the back section of the book being a lengthy and scholarly description of the said “gems”.

    The Latin text revised by Munro and the “gems” selected and detailed by King both Fellows of Trinity College Cambridge.

    Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65BC – 8 BC) known as “Horace” was a leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus. This is a well-produced and scholarly edition and we learn in the preface that the “gems” are authentic, whilst earlier attempts to illustrate Horace have succumbed to using inappropriate “modernised” versions etc.

    The Bickers binding is full red morocco, spine panelled with raised bands, gilt lines to spine and boards, marbled endpapers with gilt rolled borders internally and to board edges, all page edges richly gilt. All a trifle rubbed … a solid a special binding. The shading on the right hand (front) board is our scanner not the board!

    Nice inscription on endpaper … a gift to the Rev Mayo M.A. by his “Horace” class at Fauconberg School in Beecles … the distinguished grammar school was formed by Dr Fauconberg in 1712

    Best Illustrated “Horace” in Bickers Binding


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