The Poetical Works.
Edited by Mrs. Shelley.London, Edward Moxon, 1839 Stock Code: 140275
NotesFirst collected edition, highly desirable in a contemporary binding in such nice condition. Mary Shelley's collected edition of her husband's poetical works established Shelley finally and irreversibly amongst the great poets of the English language. Pirate editions of Shelley's works had persuaded his father, Sir Timothy, that all hope of obscurity had passed, and Mary was allowed to prepare a proper edition provided there was only a minimum of biographical information. "Mary Shelley brought Shelley into the mainstream of the national culture. He was no longer the author of a notorious banned poem Queen Mab only obtainable from shops specializing in blasphemy, sedition and advice on birth control. He was the prophet of Prometheus Unbound, one of the most ambitious attempts ever made to uplift life by literature, and of other works such as the "Ode to the West Wind"... The notes that Mary added are masterpieces of editing, adding so immeasurably to the reader's understanding that nobody would now consider printing Shelley's poems without them" (St Clair, p. 492).
4 volumes, octavo (158 x 95 mm). Contemporary green half morocco, titles and decorations to spines gilt, marbled sides ruled in gilt, edges gilt, marbled endpapers, red silk page markers.
Engraved portrait frontispiece in vol. I, publisher's ads to vols. I, II and IV.
A little rubbing to spine ends, vol. II foot of front board bumped, contents clean. A fine, fresh set.
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