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An Essay on Criticism
London: W. Lewis and sold by W. Taylor, T. Osborn and J. Graves. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Fine. FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE of Pope's first major poem; one of the most oft-quoted works in the English language. In fine 19th-century signed Riviere & Son binding. "To err, is human, to forgive divine" "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread" "A little learning is a dangerous thing" "First published anonymously on 15 May 1711 as a quarto of forty-eight pages. The main publisher was William Lewis, and 1,000 copies were printed… The Essay expresses for the most part orthodox neoclassic doctrine as this had evolved in France and England, but it performs this task with unparalleled brilliance and √©lan. Pope's aim lay not so much in novelty of ideas as in the sparkle and compression of their embodiment in poetry… Pope's treatment of topics such as wit has proved of lasting importance in the history and theory of criticism" (The Alexander Pope Encyclopedia). Griffith's first issue, with four booksellers' names on the title page. With the extremely rare half-title; without the ad leaf that is almost always lacking in first issue copies. (Griffith believed that the ad leaf was probably not issued with the earliest copies.) Provenance: From the library of John A. Spoor, Chicago railroad and banking magnate known as the "J. Pierpont Morgan" of the mid-west whose famous and extensive collection of first editions was sold at Parke-Bernet Galleries in 1939; with his bookplate. Also with handsome bookplates of the book collector Chares Lilburn and legendary art and antiques collector Mrs. J. Insley Blair. London: Printed for W. Lewis and sold by W. Taylor, T. Osborn and J. Graves, 1711. Quarto, nineteenth-century full crushed morocco by Riviere & Son with gilt-tooled boards and gilt-decorated spine; uncut. Small scuff to rear board, repair to upper joint; a little browning to title, but text generally very clean with very wide margins. A beautiful copy. RARE.
      [Bookseller: The Manhattan Rare Book Company]
Last Found On: 2013-12-03           Check availability:      Biblio    


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