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Pope Homer Iliad 1715-20 & Odyssey 1725-26 Folio 1st Eds 11 Vols 18th C. Calf Nr For Sale

Pope Homer Iliad 1715-20 & Odyssey 1725-26 Folio 1st Eds 11 Vols 18th C. Calf Nr

OFFERED WITH is a very rare and highly desirable complete 11-volume folio set of THE 1715-20 FIRST EDITION OF ALEXANDER POPE’S TRANSLATION OF HOMER’S ILIAD TOGETHER WITH THE 1725-26 FIRST EDITION OF ALEXANDER POPE’S TRANSLATION OF HOMER’S ODYSSEY, printed at London in 11 folio volumes for Bernard Lintot from 1715 through 1726, considered by Samuel Johnson to be the most perfect of all works of English poetry, THE ODYSSEY IN THIS SET INCLUDING THE EXTREMELY RARE SECOND FRONTISPIECE PORTRAIT OF HOMER,adorned with beautiful engraved plates and maps, and STUNNINGLY BOUND UNIFORMLY IN EARLY 18TH CENTURY ENGLISH FULL MARBLED CALF, CONTEMPORARY TO THE TIME OF PUBLICATION AND IN EXCELLENT CONDITION.

 

THE FIRST EDITION OF POPE’S HOMER, BEING THE FIRST EDITIONS OF EACH VOLUME OF THE ILIAD AND THE ODYSSEY, PRINTED AT LONDON IN ELEVEN FOLIO VOLUMES FORM 1715 THROUGH 1726, CONSIDERED BY SAMUEL JOHNSON AS THE MOST PERFECT OF ENGLISH POEMS, AND STILL (PACE HAROLD BLOOM) THE DEFINITIVE ENGLISH HOMER.

 

THIS SET INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING ILLUSTRATIONS: THE FAMOUS FULL-PAGE ENGRAVED PORTRAIT OF HOMER BY GEORGE VERTUE; THE TWO LEAVES OF ENGRAVED ANTIQUITIES; THE DOUBLE-PAGE MAP OF HOMERIC GREECE AND PHRYGIA; THE GLORIOUS FULL-PAGE ENGRAVING OF THE SHIELD OF ACHILLES; AND THE VERY RARE SECOD FRONTISPIECE OF HOMER, WHICH BEGINS THE ODYSSEY. Unfortunately, the second volume of the Iliad lacks the plan of the plain of Troy.

 

The full title of the first volume of the Iliad reads as follows:

 

“The Iliad of Homer, / Translated by Mr. Pope. / … / London: / Printed by W. Bowyer, for Bernard Lintott between the Temple-Gates. 1715.”

 

The full title of the sixth and final volume of the Iliad reads as follows:

 

“The Iliad of Homer, / Translated by Mr. Pope. / Vol. VI. / … / London: / Printed by W. Bowyer, for Bernard Lintott between the Temple-Gates. 1720.”

 

The full title of the first volume of the Odyssey reads as follows:

 

“The Odyssey of Homer, / [engraved vignette subtitled ‘Pope’s Odyssey’] / London: / Printed for Bernard Lintott. / MDCCXXV [1725].”

 

The full title of the fifth and final volume of the Odyssey reads as follows:

 

“The Odyssey of Homer, / Translated from the Greek. / Vol. V. / London: / Printed for Bernard Lintott. / MDCCXXVI [1726].”

 

Adorning the volumes are what must be the two finest engraved portraits of Homer, both done by George Vertue, two very fine maps of Homeric Greece and Phrygia on one folding bifolium, and a beautiful folding plate depicting in ornate and accurate detail the Shield of Achilles. THE FRONTISPIECE FOR THE ODYSSEY IS ALMOST ALWAYS ABSENT FROM THE FIRST FOLIO EDITION; INDEED, IT IS SO INFREQUENTLY FOUND THAT THE 1725-26 FIRST EDITION OF POPE’S ODYSSEY SHOULD BE CONSIDERED COMPLETE WITHOUT IT, AND COPIES WITH THE FRONTISPIECE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED SUPERIOR – I.E. MORE THAN COMPLETE.

 

Pope’s translation of the Iliad took him six years to complete, but made him financially secure for the first time in his life (and for the rest of his life). Interestingly, the translation was composed generally upon the backs of envelopes; this manuscript has been preserved and a section of it is on display at the British Library. The Odyssey was completed at a more rapid pace and involved the collaboration of Elijah Fenton and William Broome.

 

Pope’s translation of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey have justly been lauded for centuries. No less a genius than Samuel Johnson considered Pope’s Homer the finest work in all of English poetry (perhaps excepting Shakespeare) and the culmination of the development of English literature. It was commonly said through the 18th and 19th centuries that Pope’s Homer had ‘tuned the English tongue.’

 

With the exception of the plan of the plain of Troy, as noted above, the eleven volumes of the Iliad and Odyssey are complete in all respects, including all illustrations. The six volumes of the Iliad include all privilege leaves and half-titles. Each book in the first volume is paginated separately, as follows: Preliminaries & unpaginated Preface; 55 page Essay; 36-page Book 1 & 37-page Observations; 50-page Book 2 & 41-page Observations; 27-page Book 3 & 30-page Observations; 30-page Book 4 & 22-page Observations. The next five books comprise the following numbered pages respectively: 306; 263; 320; 299; 221. Added to this are the titles, half-titles, indices, and plates. The five volumes of the Odyssey include the following numbered pages respectively, plus the titles, preliminaries and addenda: 252 (plus of course the substantial preliminary essays); 384; 327; 286; and 289 (plus the 16 numbered pages of the ‘Battle of the Frogs and Mice’). Each volume measures 30 cm by 24 cm by 3 cm; each leaf measures about 295 mm by 230 mm.

 

The six volumes are uniformly bound in early 18th century calf, exactly contemporary to the time of publication. THE BINDINGS ARE UNIFORMLY IN REMARKABLY EXCELLENT CONDITION, RICHLY GILT UPON THE SPINES, AND DATE TO THE EARLY 18TH CENTURY. IT WOULD BE VERY DIFFICULT TO FIND THE FULL 11 VOLUMES OF THE ILIAD AND ODYSSEY IN MORE BEAUTIFUL EARLY 18TH CENTURY BINDINGS. Each of the spines is divided by raised bands into 7 compartments. All 11 black morocco volume labels are present; all title labels are absent. All hinges and all book-blocks are strong. The edges and corners show only very minor wear. The leather upon the hinges is in general lightly cracked, in several cases only very lightly; this too is quite unusual, since in most early 18th century calf bindings the leather upon the hinges is much more noticeably worn than in this set.

 

THIS IS THE ONLY EXAMPLE OF THE FOLIO ODYSSEY (AS OPPOSED TO THE QUARTO) THAT I HAVE ENCOUNTERED THAT INCLUDES THE FRONTISPIECE PORTRAIT. IT IS VERY RARE AND HIGHLY DESIRABLE. This also points to one of the most unusual aspects of this set. It is undoubtedly the folio issue, with gatherings of two leaves only and with the illustrations as called for in the folio issue; however, the dimensions of the volumes correspond to what one would expect of a large example of the quarto issue. It may be that the folio edition has here been printed on leaves in quarto, or it may be that the leaves have been trimmed in accordance with the preference of the owner in about 1726 to approximate a large quarto size. Certainly, the bindings cannot date from much later than 1726. One wonders, therefore, whether the original owner, having compiled the folio set and with the intention to have it bound in its present format, acquired separately a copy of the Odyssey frontispiece and had it included when the set was bound. In any case, its inclusion makes this set extremely unusual and desirable.

   

THE SET IS ALSO EXCEPTIONALLY ATTRACTIVE INTERNALLY. The ‘Shield of Achilles’ is a beautiful example, with none of the trimming that one often finds in examples of this plate. The volumes are in excellent condition, with ample margins and clear print throughout. The plates and the map are excellent impressions and very bright. A few leaves in the Iliad are mildly toned.

 

In all, this is very rare and highly desirable complete 11-volume folio set of THE 1715-20 FIRST EDITION OF ALEXANDER POPE’S TRANSLATION OF HOMER’S ILIAD TOGETHER WITH THE 1725-26 FIRST EDITION OF ALEXANDER POPE’S TRANSLATION OF HOMER’S ODYSSEY, printed at London in 11 folio volumes for Bernard Lintot from 1715 through 1726, considered by Samuel Johnson to be the most perfect of all works of English poetry, THE ODYSSEY IN THIS SET INCLUDING THE EXTREMELY RARE SECOND FRONTISPIECE PORTRAIT OF HOMER,adorned with beautiful engraved plates and maps, and STUNNINGLY BOUND UNIFORMLY IN EARLY 18TH CENTURY ENGLISH FULL MARBLED CALF, CONTEMPORARY TO THE TIME OF PUBLICATION, IN EXCELLENT CONDITION, and OFFERED WITH .

 

Please take the time necessary to review the photos below in order to gain a better understanding of the content and condition of the volume. Please also take a moment to view my other sales of rare and desirable English and Continental printed books dating from the 15th through the 19th century.

 

 

Please take the time necessary to review the photos below in order to gain a better understanding of the content and condition of the volume. Please also take a moment to view my other sales of rare and desirable English and Continental printed books dating from the 15th through the 19th century.

 

Shipment is free for customers in the United States and Canada. For U.S. clients we ship either FedEx Ground for large shipments or USPS Priority for single books or smaller amounts. We ship using Canada Post for Canadian customers.

 

 Canadian buyers please note that we list on .com which automatically charges for international shipment. Your invoice will be amended to reflect free shipping.

 

 Please note as of January 2013 USPS has increased International shipping charges on average by 25%.

 

We charge for shipment of international orders.  We try to ship using USPS flat rate priority-mail boxes and we charge for shipment at cost or slightly below. Small 12mo books are shipped for USD 24.00. The cost of shipment for any book in Octavo, Quarto or small folio format is USD 60.00. The cost of shipment for large folios or quartos of equivalent size is USD 78.00. Multiple folio volumes and sets are, of course, generally more expensive and the cost of their shipment will always be quoted in the listing. With all of our sales if an individual client wins multiple books we charge only charge for the shipment of one book and cover the cost of shipment of the rest. Please note that mobile devices do not yet display correctly the shipment costs for international customers. Please enquire or consult the non-mobile site in order to obtain complete information concerning the cost of shipment.

   

All purchases save those by Canadian clients are shipped from New York State once per week, weather permitting. If you require faster service or special handling please let us know and we will do our best to accomodate.

                                   


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Pope Homer Iliad 1715-20 & Odyssey 1725-26 Folio 1st Eds 11 Vols 18th C. Calf Nr

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Pope Homer Iliad 1715-20 & Odyssey 1725-26 Folio 1st Eds 11 Vols 18th C. Calf Nr:
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