[Cantos I and II.]London, printed by Thomas Davison [for John Murray], 1819 Stock Code: 141802
NotesFirst edition of the first two cantos of Byron's last and greatest work. None of Byron's writings since the first two cantos of Childe Harold seven years earlier had appeared in such a large and expensive format: the volume sold for a guinea and a half (1 11s. 6d). Later cantos were published in octavo.
Hobhouse had preached caution and Murray had requested cuts, but Byron was uncooperative, so Murray only agreed to publish in this form, with his printer, Thomas Davison, named, and therefore bearing the legal responsibility.
Large quarto (273 x 211 mm). Contemporary half calf, smooth spine with three-line gilt rules, black morocco label, marbled sides and edges.
Early ownership inscriptions of F. K. Barnes to title and Philip Jones, 28 Apr. 1825 to front free endpaper; engraved monogram book label (EHF) to front pastedown; leather book label (B) to rear pastedown. A few scuffs to binding, faint foxing to outer leaves and occasionally elsewhere, title leaf pulled at lower stitch, still a good copy.
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