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DANTE ALIGHIERI.

A Translation of the Inferno, in English Verse.

With Historical Notes on the Life of Dante. To Which is Added a Specimen of a New Translation of the Orlando Furioso of Ariosto. By Henry Boyd.

Dublin, P. Byrne, 1785 Stock Code: 136911
£5,000.00

Rare early English Dante

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Notes

First edition, rare, of the first appearance of Boyd's translation of Dante, considered superior to the blank verse translation of 1782 by Charles Rogers, and preceding by 17 years Boyd's own completion of the Divine Comedy (1802), which would be the first published completion in English. This Dublin edition is the true first, preceding the London edition of the same year. Boyd (1749-1832) was a member of the Irish clergy, and the subscribers included Edmond Malone. A notable part of the Gothic revival, his translation would help bring Dante back into English literary circles after he had fallen by the critical wayside during the Enlightenment. William Blake is one of those whose imagination was fired by Boyd's Inferno; his annotated copy of the 1785 London edition is held in the Keynes collection at Cambridge University Library. Modern auction records document only one appearance of this edition, in 1968.

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Description

2 volumes, octavo (108 x 178 mm). Contemporary speckled calf, spines with morocco title labels, marbled endpapers.

Illustrations

With a list of subscribers.

Condition

Covers in excellent condition, with just a little rubbing to extremities and two small areas of surface loss. Some light pencil annotations to vol. 1. Minor stain to vol. 1, pp 206-7 not affecting text, vol. 2, pp. 363-4 with minor loss to margin not affecting text. A bright, clean, and generally pleasing copy.

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