[Cantos I and II; Cantos III, IV, and V.]London: printed by Thomas Davison [for John Murray], 1819 & 1821 Stock Code: 148457
First octavo edition of cantos I and II and first edition of cantos III to V, forming Byron's last and greatest work.
The First two cantos were first published the same year in quarto; 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.
2 works in 1 volume, octavo (205 x 131 mm). Finely bound in an unsigned later green morocco, spine lettered in gilt, raised bands, decorative motifs in gilt to compartments, boards panelled in gilt and blind with floral corner pieces in gilt, floral roll in gilt tot turn-ins, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt.
Bookplate of Christopher Clark Geest to front pastedown. Spine uniformly sunned, small dent to fore edges, the binding otherwise sound and clean, very occasional faint spotting to contents, heavier to first and last few leaves, else internally bright; an attractive copy.
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