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PARADISE LOST. A POEM IN TWELVE BOOKS [VOLUME ONE ONLY]
Philadelphia: Robert Bell, 1777. First American Edition. Hardcover. Octavo, 15, 328 [2] pages; VG; bound in original binding, brown calf, paneled spine with no lettering; moderate wear to binding, including rubbing and bumping to boards, cracking to hinges, chipping to head of spine; binding sturdy, with no signs of repair; small water-stain to lower for corner, running from the ffep through page 145; collation: A-Z⁴, Aa-Uu⁴, complete; with a frontispiece portrait engraving of Milton by John Norman, "possibly the first portrait of Milton engraved on this continent" [Wickenheiser]; In the midst of the American Revolution, the Philadelphia printer Robert Bell ignored British copyright and published this two-volume edition of Milton's work. As such, this is the first American edition. Bell might best be known for his publication in 1776 of Thomas Paine's "Common Sense." He also put out the first American edition of Blackstone's "Commentaries" in 1772. Originally published in two volumes, the publisher put the first 11 books of Paradise Lost in volume 1, while binding the last book into the beginning of volume 2.; Ownership signature of Philip S Bunting on ffep and dedication page. Philip Syng Bunting (1763-1826) was the son of Samuel Bunting and Esther Bunting (Syng), who was the daughter of Philip Syng, Jr. and Elizabeth Syng. A prominent Philadelphian silversmith, Philip Syng was best known for having fashioned, in 1752, the inkstand used at the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. The inkstand is only one of four physical objects that were present during the Constitutional Convention known to still exist. Syng as a good friend and close associate of Benjamin Franklin. He was part of Franklin's Junto, an important group of political and intellectual civic leaders. Syng a founder and officer of a number of early Philadelphia's cultural institutions, including the American Philosophical Society and the Pennsylvania Hospital, as well as being a founding trustee of the Academy and College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania), serving from 1749 to 1773. Syng earned Franklin's praise as his "worthy and ingenious friend." The Morgan library calls this edition "Extremely Rare" Wickenheiser 740, Evans 15443, Not in Coleridge; JG consignment; shelved case 0. Dupont.
      [Bookseller: Second Story Books]
Last Found On: 2018-02-19           Check availability:      Biblio    

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