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BUTLER, Samuel.


in three parts, written in the Time of the Late Wars... with large annotations and a preface by Zachary Grey, LL.D. In two volumes.

London : 1799 Stock Code: 29062
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First Nesbit edition, printed on royal paper. Zachary Grey's edition of Butler's celebrated mock-epic satirising the English republicans was first published in 1744, and kept Butler's book accessible to later generations, "his knowledge of puritan literature enabled him to illustrate his author by profuse quotations from contemporary writings" (ODNB). This is one of the most attractive editions of Hudibras, printed by Thomas Bensley in a fine, legible type on superior quality paper.

Charlton Nesbit (1775-1838) was "one of the leading wood-engravers of the day; judged on technical skill alone, he was probably the best of Bewick's pupils" (ODNB). His work here, vigorous and with Bewick's eye for the telling detail, are sometimes attributed to his master, despite their being clearly signed "C. Nesbit". Bewick possessed a copy of the book, see A Provisional Checklist of The Library of Thomas Bewick, drawn up for The Bewick Society by David Gardner-Medwin.

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2 volumes, large octavo (230 x 143 mm). Contemporary vellum, smooth spines with dark blue morocco twin labels prettily tooled in gilt, sides panelled with intersecting borders ruled in blue, "Gloster pattern" marbled endpapers, blue sprinkled edges.


Engraved portrait frontispiece of Butler by William Ridley after Lely, 17 engraved plates by Ridley after Hogarth, woodcut head and tail-pieces by Charles Nesbit, woodcut title vignettes of a beehive.


Vellum lightly soiled and rubbed, a little offsetting from plates. A most attractive copy.


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