London, South Kensington
23 November 2009
GOLDSMITH, Oliver. The Deserted Village, a Poem. London: Printed for W. Griffin, 1770. 4° in half-sheets (268 x 207 mm). Half-title, title-page with engraved vignette by Isaac Taylor. (Light spotting and browning.) Late 19th-century panelled morocco gilt by Stikeman & Co, gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers, gilt edges (headcap bumped and creased with light rubbing). Provenance: Henry William Poor (red leather gilt armorial bookplate) -- Templeton Crocker (booklabel).
FIRST EDITION of Goldsmith's most famous poem, with catchword on p. 9 misprinted 'Careless' for 'Thus'. The Deserted Village and Goldsmith's Traveller are 'elegant versions of the popular declamation of the time against luxury and depopulation' (DNB). Samuel Johnson wrote the last four lines. The duodecimo editions dated the same year and previously believed to be 'privately printed' or 'trial' editions have since been shown to be Edinburgh piracies (Todd). Stikeman & Co, New York binders, produced their best work between 1880-1920. Hayward 184; Scott Goldsmith, pp. 248-50; Rothschild 1032; Sterling 405; Tiller 1122; W.B. Todd in: Studies in Bibliography, 1954, pp.25ff.; Williams, p.147.
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