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The Divina Commedia
London: by A. Strahan; for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies,, 1802. consisting of the Inferno?-Purgatorio?-and Paradiso. Translated into English verse, with preliminary essay, notes, and illustrations, By the Rev. Henry Boyd... 3 volumes, octavo. Attractively bound in contemporary mottled calf (probably Irish), covers with stylised acanthus border roll in gilt, spines divided in compartments by double gilt decorative rolls, double black labels, gilt harp ornaments, marbled endpapers, sprinkled edges. Housed in a black cloth leather entry slipcase. Engraved frontispiece portrait of Dante by Thomas Stothard. Engraved bookseller's ticket of T. Barrett, Cambridge, in vol. I. Contemporary ownership inscriptions, "J. H. Lloyd e donis C. Molloy". Some slight wear to the deliberate cracklure effect on mottled sides, imperceptible repairs to foot of joints of vol. III, a very good set in a handsome Regency binding. First edition of the first English version of the complete Divine Comedy to be published. The translator Henry Boyd (1748/9?-1832) was a Church of Ireland clergyman. "The edition's value was in assisting to re-establish an audience for Dante, whose reputation had suffered a decline in the previous century. It was dedicated to Viscount Charleville, whose chaplain Boyd was until the Irish rising induced him to resign his post" (ODNB). Boyd had previously in 1785 published by subscription a two-volume translation of the Inferno only, with a specimen of the Orlando Furioso of Ariosto, which in itself was only the second English version of the Inferno. Boyd's translation was the version used as captions for John Flaxman's Compositions from the divine poem of Dante Alighieri (1807).
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2015-01-21           Check availability:      Biblio    

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