London: Jacob Tonson, 1697. First edition. Large Folio (17.5" x 11" or 444 x 280 mm). Complete with 103 full-page plates, including: the frontis, one plate in "The Life of Virgil," 10 plates in Pastorals, 20 in Georgics and 71 in Aeneis. Bound in full contemporary mottled calf, rebacked with the original spine laid down and original end papers. Armorial bookplate of Rolle on the front paste-down. Leather worn, mostly at the corners and along edges, but still attractive. Internal contents are superb. Perhaps one in 10 plates is darkened and a few of the text pages, but most pages are white and crisp with sharp print impressions. A subscriber copy, with the two lists of subscribers. A fantastic example with generous margins.
Containing the three most important works by Virgil, Rome's greatest poet. The Aeneid, modeled after Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, remains one of the greatest epic poems ever penned. This Dryden translation was the best of its time and remained the standard translation for many years. A magnificent production by Jacob Tonson, with exacting care taken in selecting the finest paper, fonts, plates, etc. in order to produce a work of lasting beauty and value. (Item #557)
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