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Candid, or, All for the Best (i.e. Candide).
Printed for J. Nourse at the Lamb, London 1759 - TP + 1 blank leaf + [i[-[iv] = Contents + [1]-132. Large 12 mo. First (?) English Edition of Candide.The English edition of Voltaire's immensely readable and still highly entertaining classic, Candide published by John Nourse in the same year that the first French edition appeared. For years, Nourse was known as Voltaire's publisher in London, having a close relationship with the Cramer brothers of Geneva (the "official" printers of all his French editions). Nourse was, in fact, "the most constant reprinter and publisher of translation of Voltaire's works in England" and from 1753 onwards, he "almost automatically both reprinted and translated most of Voltaire's works " (here and for later quotes see: Giles Barber, Some Early English Edition of Voltaire, British Library Journal, 1978, pp. 105-106)Copies of the Geneva edition of Candide (the first French printing that preceded sixteen others in 1759) were shipped to Paris and Amsterdam on January 15th. The largest consignment of books ever shipped to Nourse left Geneva on January 18th and travlled a circuitous route by water to Basel and the down the Rhine, finally being shipped across the channel to England. (It should be noted that there is no mention of Candide in their account book for this shipment). John Nourse did, however, rather quickly bring out the "pirated" London edition of this French text, announcing its availability on April 26th and noting that an English version was soon to be released. That anonymous translation, entitled Candid, or, All for the Best was first announced to the public by Nourse on May 22, 1759. This translation proved to be so popular that it enjoyed a "carefully revised and corrected" second edition printing in the same year. There were three other English translations of Candide published in 1759. Two of them are of the version by William Rider (a scholar of Jesus College Oxford) entitled, Candidus: or, the optimist; the first was printed in London by J. Scott and J. Gretton and another in Dublin by James Hoey and William Smith. According to Barber, the London edition of Rider's translation was announced in The Public Advertiser on May 15, 1759 - one week before the Nourse announcement - and he states that "it is evident that it was then known that there was some textual problem behind these texts since the Rider translation advertised itself as 'translated from the last correct copy sent by him [Voltaire] as a present to the translator' and added 'The Public need not be intreated to ask for this particular Translation, as we may presume to assert there is no other authenticated copy under the Author's hand of this work in the Kingdom.'" What is confusing about the allegation in this advertisement is that it presumes there is another translation already available on the market and the buyer is advised "to ask for this particular Translation" rather than to be duped into buying that unnamed (but undoubtedly Nourse) translation which it claimed was inferior. Finally, an anonymous translation entitled Candidus or, all for the best was also published by Sands, Donaldson, Murray and Cochran for A. Donaldson in Edinburgh, but there is no known publication date associated with this book. Contemporary calf with five raised bands and gilt ruling on the spine. With contemporary manuscript notes on the verso of the title page and the blank leaf before the Contents. A lovely copy of one of the most entertaining classics the Western Canon in the likely first state of its presentation to the English public. PHOTOS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST.
      [Bookseller: Athena Rare Books ABAA]
Last Found On: 2013-12-03           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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