5 December 2008
MILTON, John (1608-1674). Paradise Lost. A Poem in Twelve Books. The fourth edition, adorn'd with Sculptures. London: Miles Flesher, for Richard Bentley..., and Jacob Tonson,1688.
2o (317 x 192 mm). Engraved portrait frontispiece by White after Faithorne, 12 full-page engravings by Burghers chiefly after B. de Medina. (One or two spots occasionally affecting images and text, one or two marginal tears not affecting images and text.) Contemporary blind panelled calf (rebacked to style in the 19th-century, extremities scuffed and repaired). Provenance: 18th-century fair copy of John Phillips's [sic] [The Splendid Shilling] In Imitation of Milton [ca 1701] on preliminary blank leaves; 18th-century detailed notes on the text on recto of first blank at the end; H.S.W. Edwardes (20th-century bookplate).
"THE EARLIEST SERIOUS EFFORT TO ILLUSTRATE AN IMPORTANT WORK OF ENGLISH POETRY" (Hodnett)
FIRST ILLUSTRATED AND FIRST FOLIO EDITION. Bound without list of subscribers, Foolscap watermark. The illustrations have been enormously influential in subsequent interpretations of Paradise Lost, and are discussed at length in the Riverside Milton. Wing M-2148; Grolier Wither to Prior 607; (Hodnett Five Centuries of Book Illustration 1988, p. 63); Shawcross 345.
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