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La divina commedia.

Illustrata di note da varj comentatori scelte ed abbreviate da Romualdo Zotti; [together with:] Canzoni e sonetti, per la prima volta di note illustrati con una dissertazione sulla divina commedia scritta da Mr. Merian, dell' Accademic di Berlino.

London: Dai torchj di R. Zotti, 1808-09 Stock Code: 147655
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A handsome set

First Zotti edition, a handsomely bound set of Dante's Divine Comedy in the original Italian.

Romualdo Zotti (d. 1819) was an Italian expatriate in London, a teacher of Italian to young noble women and a printer. Zotti produced highly popular guides to French and Italian grammar, as well as editions of Italian poets. Zotti's interest in the education of the English upper classes is indicated by the dedications of his edition of the Divine Comedy; each volume is dedicated to a different aristocratic woman, the first to the Countess Lonsdale, the second to the Countess of Dartmouth, and the third to a Mrs Pilkington. The second edition, published 1819-20, consists of only three volumes, and does not include the Canzoni or Sonetti.

This copy is from the library of Major-General Sir Charles Stewart (1776-1854), later Vane Stewart, third Marquess of Londonderry, with his engraved bookplate in each volume. Stewart served in the Corunna campaign during which he commanded a cavalry brigade. After the retreat to Corunna and the death of Sir John Moore, the army returned to the Peninsula under the command of Sir Arthur Wellesley, later the duke of Wellington, who appointed Stewart as his Adjutant-General. The post was mostly administrative, but Stewart did see action at Talavera in July 1809, and for this service he received thanks of parliament in February 1810. He also distinguished himself at the Battle of Bussaco in September 1810, and at Fuentes de Onoro in May 1811 where he took a French colonel in single combat.

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4 volumes, octavo (168 x 113 mm). Contemporary brown half calf, marbled sides, smooth spines lettered and decorated in gilt, red morocco labels, edges sprinkled green.


Engraved portrait frontispiece to vol. I.


A lovely set, couple of trivial scuffs, slight wear to tips, occasional spot of foxing to endpapers, contents otherwise notably clean.


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