SWIFT, Jonathan.

Travels Into Several Remote Nations of the World.

In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of several Ships.

London: for Benj. Motte, 1726 Stock Code: 102756
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The true first edition of Swift's masterpiece, Teerink's A edition, published on 28 October 1726 in two octavo volumes. Two superficially similar but distinct octavo editions followed in quick succession: the second (eccentrically designated AA by Teerink) sometime in the middle of November, and the third edition (Teerink B) in December.

"The clandestine business of getting into print a pseudonymous and satirically explosive political satire entitled Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World (known from the start by its more popular title, Gulliver's Travels) was managed chiefly by Pope, with the assistance of John Gay and Erasmus Lewis. For speed, and to counter the risk of piracy, Motte used five printing houses (those of Edward Say, Henry Woodfall, James Bettenham, William Pearson, and, for the greatest share, that of Jane Ilive). The first edition appeared on 28 October 1726 in two octavo volumes at the price of 8s. 6d., but with unauthorized deletions and insertions by Andrew Tooke (the brother of Benjamin Tooke jun.), and sold out within a week. Gay wrote: 'From the highest to the lowest it is universally read, from the Cabinet-council to the Nursery'... Motte followed up with two more octavo editions in 1726 and a duodecimo in 1727, and there was a serialized version which began in the Penny Post (25 November 1726). There were two Dublin editions before the end of 1726, each set up from Motte's first edition... The book sold well in French: the first complete translation appeared at The Hague in January 1727, and an abridged adaptation by the Abbé Desfontaines in Paris in April... Swift received from Motte 200 and possibly more from the sales of the book, largely due to Pope's effort at instilling into his friend the principles of 'prudent management'... Gulliver's Travels is the book by which Swift is chiefly remembered, and it is the record of his own experience in politics under Queen Anne as an Irishman in what G. B. Shaw called 'John Bull's other island'" (ODNB).

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2 volumes, octavo (191 x 119 mm). Contemporary speckled calf skilfully rebacked and refurbished to style, richly gilt spines, dark red morocco labels, two-line gilt border on sides; housed in a custom-made plush-lined brown cloth flat-back box.


Frontispiece portrait of Gulliver (second state with inscription in oval), 4 maps and 2 plans.


Marginal dampstaining to a dozen leaves in volume I, and at lower fore-corner of first gathering in volume II, a few old pale ink splashes to B5-8 in volume I. A very handsome set.


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