1816 · London
by [Blake, William]. J. Watkins and F. Shoberl.
8vo. London: Henry Colburn, 1816. 8vo, viii, 449 pp. With 2 leaves of ads at the front, and another 2 at the back, dated 1818. Original boards, paper backstrip (slightly rubbed with loss of label), some wear to boards, a very fine copy entirely uncut and in original state as issued. § First edition of a fascinating contemporary reference work. It includes one of the earliest biographical references to William Blake “an eccentric and very ingenious artist”, as well as a large number of writers such as Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Byron, and hundreds of other authors forgotten today, but (amazingly) no Shelley (Mary or Percy), no Keats, and no Jane Austen. Bentley, Blake Books, 2929: “references to Blake under William Hayley, W. Blake, and William Blake”. Some claim Watkins authored A-K and Shoberl the rest. (Inventory #: 106809)