1727 Jonathan Swift's Gulliver Travels Lilliputia Engraved Plates Exploration For Sale
Mikebooks122 proudly presents a copy of a
TERRIFIC, ORIGINAL, 1727 EDITION OF: “TRAVELS INTO SEVERAL REMOTE NATIONS OF THE WORLD. In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and Then a Captain of Several Ships.”
This WONDERFUL EARLY EDITION was authored by the inimitable Jonathan Swift. It was printed for Benj. Motte, at the Middle Temple Gate in Fleet-Street. 1727.
This work is better known simply as Gulliver's Travels. It is a novel by Anglo-Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift, that is both a satire on human nature and a parody of the "travellers' tales" literary sub-genre. It is Swift's best known full-length work, and a classic of English literature.
The book became popular as soon as it was published. John Gay wrote in a 1726 letter to Swift that "It is universally read, from the cabinet council to the nursery." Since then, it has never been out of print.
It is uncertain exactly when Swift started writing Gulliver's Travels, but some sources suggest as early as 1713 when Swift, Gay, Pope, Arbuthnot and others formed the Scriblerus Club, with the aim of satirising popular literary genres. Swift, runs the theory, was charged with writing the memoirs of the club's imaginary author, Martinus Scriblerus, and also with satirising the "travellers' tales" literary sub-genre. It is known from Swift's correspondence that the composition proper began in 1720 with the mirror-themed parts I and II written first, Part IV next in 1723 and Part III written in 1724; but amendments were made even while Swift was writing Drapier's Letters. By August 1725 the book was complete; and as Gulliver's Travels was a transparently anti-Whig satire, it is likely that Swift had the manuscript copied so that his handwriting could not be used as evidence if a prosecution should arise, as had happened in the case of some of his Irish pamphlets (the Drapier's Letters).
In March, 1726 Swift travelled to London to have his work published; the manuscript was secretly delivered to the publisher Benjamin Motte, who used five printing houses to speed production and avoid piracy. Motte, recognizing a best-seller but fearing prosecution, cut or altered the worst offending passages (such as the descriptions of the court contests in Lilliput and the rebellion of Lindalino), added some material in defense of Queen Anne to book II, and published it. The book was an instant sensation and sold out its first run in less than a week.
Motte published Gulliver's Travels anonymously, and as was often the way with fashionable works, several follow-ups (Memoirs of the Court of Lilliput), parodies (Two Lilliputian Odes, The first on the Famous Engine With Which Captain Gulliver extinguish'd the Palace Fire...) and "keys" (Gulliver Decipher'd and Lemuel Gulliver's Travels into Several Remote Regions of the World Compendiously Methodiz'd, the second by Edmund Curll who had similarly written a "key" to Swift's Tale of a Tub in 1705) were swiftly produced. These were mostly printed anonymously (or occasionally pseudonymously) and were quickly forgotten.
Swift had nothing to do with them and disavowed them in Faulkner's edition of 1735. Swift's friend Alexander Pope wrote a set of five Verses on Gulliver's Travels, which Swift liked so much that he added them to the second edition of the book, though they are rarely included. They are not present in these volumes.
Condition: Rare books remain in good to fair condition [see images]. Volumes are bound in full calf leather. Raised band spines with gilt titles. Boards have gilt frames. Volume 1 boards present but detached. 3 page bundle with HANDSOME FRONTIS PORTRAIT and title page detached. MAP PLATE AT PART ONE PRESENT. MAP PLATE AT PART TWO PRESENT. Front board on Volume 2 detached, rear one is secure. MAP PLATE AT PART THREE PRESENT. MAP PLATE AT CHAPTER FIVE PRESENT. PLATE AT CHAPTER TEN PRESENT. MAP PLATE AT PART FOUR PRESENT. Nicely toned and little foxing. They measure approx. 6" tall x 4" wide x 1" thick. Volumes contains 264 and 269. This is quite a find and a very worthy acquisition indeed.
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1727 Jonathan Swift's Gulliver Travels Lilliputia Engraved Plates Exploration: $617