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MOORE, Thomas.

The Life of Lord Byron.

With his letters and journals, and illustrative notes.

London, John Murray, 1844 Stock Code: 113992
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Moore's biography was first published in 1830 as Letters and Journals of Lord Byron, a title "distracting attention from the skill with which Moore constructed his portrait" (ODNB). "Byron had given his manuscript memoirs to Moore in the expectation that his friend might profit from them should he survive him. Moore later sold the manuscript to Murray on the understanding that he would write a biography after Byron's death, but then questions were raised about the propriety of this arrangement, and the money from the sale was converted into a loan, with the manuscript as security. After Byron's death in April 1824 the ownership proved a matter of great perplexity, and the consequent acrimonious legal disputes ended only when agreement was reached to burn the memoirs, much to the relief of Byron's family. Moore none the less remained the best qualified person to write a definitive biography and to edit Byron's poetry. He went diligently in search of materials, and received an abundance of letters and anecdotes from those who had known the poet" (idem).

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2 volumes, octavo (238 x 149 mm). Later 19th-century dark blue half morocco, raised bands to spines, second and third compartments gilt-lettered direct, remainder richly gilt with floral sprays, blue pebble-grain cloth sides ruled in gilt, comb-marbled edges and endpapers.


Engraved frontispiece with 6 portraits of Byron by Westall and others; engraved vignette title page with a view of Newstead Abbey.


Contemporary book label of Hugh B. Roberts to front pastedown, effaced ownership inscription of John B. Hobson of Sheffield to the second blank and title page of vol. 1, and to the front free endpaper and half-title of vol. 2, reading, "bought at Shrewsbury July 1st 1852, rebound Jan 1 1882". Light rubbing to head of front joint, mild foxing to prelims. An excellent copy.


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