Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage [Cantos I and II]. A Romaunt.
by Byron, Lord.
London: Printed for John Murray, 32, Fleet-Street; William Blackwood, Edinburgh; and John Cumming, Dublin. By Thomas Davison, White-Friars, 1812. 4to, viii, 226 pp. Facsimile of a Romaic letter bound as frontispiece; lacking advertisements. Full red levant, gilt backstrip with diamond-shaped green morocco onlay, crest with initial B, sides richly gilt tooled with borders and panels and morocco onlays; doublures of green levant, end-leaves of red watered silk, gilt edges, cloth slipcase. Very slight fading to the backstrip, occasional spotting within, a splendid copy. First edition in a handsome binding. Randolph’s second variant with leaf Bb3 (pp. 189-90) in the cancelled state, with the title reading “Written beneath a Picture”, and p. 97, line 11 reading "vengeance forego:". Randolph notes it is doubtful the first variant was every issued as it is probable that leaf Bb3 was cancelled before publication: “It is of interest to note that the copy presented by Byron to Hobhouse on March 24, 1812 is the second variant”. The publication of Cantos I and II of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage made Byron an overnight celebrity (“I awoke one morning and found myself famous"...). It introduced to the world the Byronic hero: passionate, brooding, arrogant, dissipated -- and completely irresistible. This copy sold at Parke Bernet’s Saul Cohn Sale on October 18, 1955. Randolph 19. Ashley Library I, 147. Wise Byron 26, Tinker 518. (Inventory #: 110452)
Books and manuscripts in all fields, especially medieval illuminated and text manuscripts; material on California, Hawaii, and Pacific voyages; illustrated books and fine bindings from the 15th through the 20th century; children's books from 1750 to 1950; and fine press printing. William Blake, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Thomas Frognall Dibdin are special interests.
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