Item #49459 The First Epistle of the First Book of Horace Imitated. Alexander POPE.
The First Epistle of the First Book of Horace Imitated.

The First Epistle of the First Book of Horace Imitated.

London: R. Dodsley, 1737. Hardcover. Folio. Rebound in faux vellum spine with gilt lettering and marbled paper over boards. (2pp), 17pp, pp. 20-21, (blank). Very good. Modern (early 20th century) binding shows bit of rubbing and age toning to faux vellum portion, else tight and handsome; text block faintly edgeworn only, else quite nice. Item #49459

First edition in handsome rebind. Pope undertook several of these loose imitations of Horace between 1733 and 1738, his version of the classical poet more of a retelling than a literal translation -- references to George II and other contemporaries as well as oblique criticism and commentary on the times make these not just a translation but an original work. Published with Latin on versos and English translation on rectos, and while title page notes 1737 it did not actually appear until 1738. What should be pages 18 and 19 are misnumbered 20 and 21. Best of all, this copy belonged to popular, prolific English poet and playwright John Drinkwater (1882-1937). The front pastedown bears his small, elegant gilt-on-black bookplate, and front flyleaf bears his incredibly miniscule and neat ownership signature, which he dates 1922. Below this he shows himself a serious bibliophile when he notes in bold pencil: "The first edition, the first issue with pp. 18-19 / misnumbered 20-21. Perfect and wholly uncut." Drinkwater was certainly a Pope devotee, and and is known to have owned a first edition of his important 1711 "Essay on Criticism." A lovely and unique copy of this scarce title. GRIFFITH 480.

Price: $550.00

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