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Printed for Benj. Motte London: Printed for Benj. Motte, 1726. FIRST EDITION, Third Issue (Teerink's "B" Edition) . Hardcover. 197 x 127 mm (7 3/4 x 5"). Usual misnumbered pages in volume I; 16-page publisher's catalogue at the end of volume II. Two volumes. FIRST EDITION, Third Issue (Teerink's "B" Edition). Quite pretty 19th century speckled calf by Lloyd & Wallis (stamp-signed on front turn-in), covers with gilt French fillet border, raised bands, spines gilt in compartments with central floral sprig surrounded by small tools and floral cornerpieces, one red and one green morocco label, densely gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. With frontispiece portrait of Gulliver (in the second state), four maps, and two plans. Front pastedown with bookplate of Mrs. L. Bartlett. Teerink 291; PMM 185; Rothschild 2108. Joints somewhat rubbed and flaked (though not with any cracks), extremities a bit worn, spines uniformly darkened a shade and with a hint of abrasion (the gilt also slightly dulled), minor marks and spots to boards, but the attractively decorated bindings entirely solid and still rather pretty. First volume with variable browning and offsetting throughout, noticeable in two gatherings (perhaps because of washing?), second volume much better, with only a hint of browning right at edges, isolated trivial defects like a rust spot here and there, but the text in both volumes otherwise fresh and clean. This is the third distinct issue (all printed within two months of each other) of the first edition of probably the greatest satire in the English language. A book with the special merit of appealing to readers of every age, the work ostensibly mocks the popular travel writings of the day, but "Gulliver" was in fact a subtle but potent attack on the contemporary political situation. While most works that rely on current fashions and politics quickly become dated, this one has transcended its time to give Swift immortality because of what PMM calls his two great gifts, "a sustained logic in invention and a facility for absorbing the reader till fiction becomes reality." When the first run sold out within a week of its October 28 printing, the publisher immediately went to work to satisfy demand, with two more issues appearing before the end of the year, ours being published in December.
      [Bookseller: Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Mediev]
Last Found On: 2013-12-03           Check availability:      ABAA    


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