THE POETICAL WORKS OF JOHN MILTON, illustr by Richard Westall - 1794


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The Poetical Works of John Milton

with a Life of the Author by William Hayley

illustrated by Richard Westall

FIRST EDITION THUS. Two of three volumes. (see details below) London: W. Bulmer & Co., Shakespeare Printing Office, for John and Josiah Boydell, and George Nicol, 1794.

Hardbacks are overall in VERY GOOD condition.

  • Fine half-leather bound volumes feature gilt lettering and filigree on spine, with handsome colored marble covers.
  • Volumes display gentle overall aging and wear, and are remarkably well preserved with bright gilt and soft leather.
  • Covers display some overall rubbing and gentle occasional scuffing, as well as edgewear, including along shoulders.
  • Boards occasionally show some dark spots to leather. 
  • Volume 1
    • displays light cracking to shoulder foot on back, with slight splitting going 3" max. into shoulder. Shoulder end at head, as well as shoulder ends on front, also display minimal splitting;
    • spine shows minimal white staining around title, that barely affects text.
  • Volume 2
    • exhibits a couple small scuffs to leather at foot corner on back;
    • displays a little more overall rubbing and wear to leather, that shows gentle occasional whitening.
  • Spines are well preserved, with gilt still bright and minimal fading. 
  • Binding is secure in both volumes.
  • Illustration plates are protected behind tissue guards, and display faint moderate to significant overall foxing, mostly marginal. Due to the darker color of the engravings the extent to which actual plates are affected is hard to see. (See photos)
  • Interior is gently age-toned, showing occasional smudges in margins throughout, as well as light occasional foxing. 
  • Text pages exhibit various degrees of toning and foxing. Some pages display notable foxing and toning, while others are minimally toned and free of foxing. (See photos)
  • Inside pages are free of writing and intentional marks. 
  • Textblock edges have gilt along head showing some dust, and display commensurate toning. 
  • These photos were taken using a flash, which brightens book overall, enriching binding colors and whitening pages.
  • SC20191107

213 pages (Vol 1) + 286 pages (Vol 2). 13.5 x 17.75 inches.

Handsome antiquarian set of two volumes features fine three-quarter leather binding, with gilt lettering and filigree on spine, as well as lovely colored marble design on covers matching endpapers. 

Volumes are lavishly illustrated with the splendid engravings of Richard Westall, that feature frontis with nine additional plates in Volume 1, and ten plates in Volume 2. 

Paradise Lost is complete within the two volumes. Paradise Regained ends in Volume 2 at the end of Book 4.

The celebrated classic Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained is brought to life through the illustrations of Richard Westall, depicting some of the most striking moments of the sweeping epic poem. Written in a style reminiscent of the tradition of Homer and Virgil, the work recounts the Fall of Man and the battle of God and Satan for control of mankind's destiny. It is a tale of rebellion and treachery, conflict and drama, innocence, vice, and virtue. Taking place in three realms - Hell, Earth, and Heaven - it is one of the greatest epics in literature.

John Milton (1608-1674) was an English poet and intellectual who also served as a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England. Paradise Lost is the work for which he is best-remembered, although he wrote numerous other works, and is considered one of the most influential in defense of the freedom of speech and of the press. Criticized by some, he influenced many including William Blake, William Wordsworth and Thomas Hardy.

Richard Westall (1765-1836) was an English painter and illustrator of portraits as well as historical and literary events. He is best-known for his portraits of Byron, and as Queen Victoria's drawing master.

EDITION POINTS: First Edition to include Westall's engravings.

EPHEMERA: Bound in next to title page is an abstract about the author.

PROVENANCE: Front pastedowns show circular illustrated bookplate of Jacobus Cowan de Rosshall with Latin text "Vires et Fides Armigeri".

AS IS! Please see photos. More photos available upon request.

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