The Divina Commedia,
consisting of the Inferno-Purgatorio-and Paradiso. Translated into English verse, with preliminary essay, notes, and illustrations, by the Rev. Henry Boyd. In three volumes.London, Printed by A. Strahan, for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, 1802 Stock Code: 138899
NotesFirst complete edition in English of the Divine Comedy, and the first publication in English of the Purgatorio and the Paradiso; the Inferno here marking its fourth publication in English, following the first edition of 1782, and Dublin and London editions by Boyd in 1785. This complete edition was greatly significant for the reception of Dante in the English speaking world, "assisting to re-establish an audience for Dante, whose reputation had suffered a decline in the previous century" (ODNB). The translator, the Church of Ireland clergyman Henry Boyd (1748/9-1832), stamped his own character on this text with a lengthy introductory preface (as well as a historical essay of his own to add to his translation of Leonardo Bruni's Life of Dante), in which he celebrates Dante as an original genius whose reputation had been unjustly diminished by unimaginative laws of criticism dominated by the French propensity to "cast a damp upon original invention". Interestingly, Boyd attempts to associate the resurgence of Dante with the contemporary rise of radical thought and politics "in this age of enlightened reason and adventurous discovery".
3 volumes, octavo (234 x 143 mm). Contemporary red straight-grain morocco, spines lettered and tooled in gilt, covers with wide borders of gilt Greek-key bands within gilt fillets, gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers, gilt edges. Housed in a custom red cloth solander box, black morocco label.
Vol. I with stipple-engraved frontispiece portrait, engraved by R.H. Cromek after T. Stothard.
Contemporary ownership signature "J. Smyth" to first title page. Colour expertly retouched in places with minimal repair at head of spines; contents with intermittent foxing, occasionally strong in vol I, otherwise generally clean. A very handsome, wide-margined copy.
Fiske Catalogue of the Dante Collection vol. I, p. 43; Lowndes, 1872, vol. I., p. 589.
With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.
Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220