With memoirs of his life and writings by William Mason. To which are subjoined extracts philological poetical and critical from the author's original manuscripts selected and arranged by Thomas James Mathias. In two volumes.London: Printed by William Bulmer and Co., Shakspeare Press, for John Porter, bookseller to her Royal Highness the Princess Charlotte, 1814 Stock Code: 135310
First edition edited by Thomas James Mathias (1753-1835). "Mathias derived considerable knowledge of Thomas Gray from the Revd Norton Nicholls, on whose death in 1807 Mathias composed a letter of eulogy. Mathias was a beneficiary of Nicholls's will. In 1814 he published an edition of The Works of Thomas Gray in two quarto volumes, with substantial prose extracts from Gray's manuscripts, under the sponsorship of Pembroke College. At 7 guineas it could not compete with the cheap editions by John Mitford and others and it 'sank with the weight of lead upon the market' (Dibdin, 732), causing Mathias some personal loss" (ODNB). The lavishness of the production - finely printed and wide-margined - may have priced it out of the market at the time, but ensures it remains a most desirable edition of Gray's works.
2 volumes, quarto (293 x 233 mm). Contemporary russia, green morocco labels, spines gilt to compartments, covers with gilt ruled border, gilt turn-ins, dark green endpapers, gilt edges.
Engraved frontispieces, 3 other plates.
Light sunning to spines, very minor chip at foot of spine of vol. II, joints cracked as often for russia of this date but still holding, offset from plates, light foxing to initial and final leaves, but generally clean. A handsome copy.
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