Hesperides: or, The Works both Humane & Divine
London: printed for John Williams, and Francis Eglesfield, 1648.
London: printed for John Williams, and Francis Eglesfield, 1648. First edition. Octavo (167 x 108 mm). Contemporary sheep, rebacked with calf in 19th century, red speckled edges. Housed in custom blue cloth chemise and morocco slipcase. Engraved portrait frontispiece, woodcut crown device to title page. For Gledhill Old bookseller’s note by James F. Drake of New York loosely inserted. With the cancel leaves as usual. Contemporary handwritten verse at end. Very light patch of running staining at head of some gatherings, but contents generally clean and fresh without any internal repair. Minor chip not affecting text to leaf O3, pagination shaved in a few instances. With the bookplate of English naturalist and Conservative politician Edward William Harcourt (included in his “Catalogue of the library of E.W. Harcourt, Esq., M.P., at Nuneham Park, Oxfordshire”, 1883, p. 133).
First edition of the cavalier poet’s magnum opus, the collection he saw as his “definitive life’s work” (ODNB), and one of the great works of 17th-century English lyric poetry; a very commendable, crisp copy preserving contemporary sheep covers. A variant title page is known in a very few copies, with Thomas Hunt of Exeter in the imprint; the cancel leaves are almost always found.
ESTC R37415; Grolier English 59; Wing H1595; Pforzheimer 468. (Item #4240)