22 May 2001
BYRON, George Gordon Noel. The Bride of Abydos. A Turkish Tale. London: T. Davison for John Murray, 1813.
8o (210 x 128 mm). Green morocco gilt, gilt-lettered on spine, edges gilt, by F. Bedford.
Provenance: John Galt (1779-1839), novelist and friend of Byron (presentation inscription from the author); Frederick Locker (bookplate); Francis Kettanah (morocco bookplate).
FIRST EDITION, second issue. PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY BYRON on the title: "To J. Galt Esqre. from his friend ye. Author -- Dec. 5th 1813." With the points of the second issue: without the errata leaf and with the errors corrected; p.47 with 22 lines; p.60 has the eighth line numbered 720.
The novelist John Galt befriended Byron after Galt moved to London around 1803, having been employed at the Greenock custom-house and a mercantile house. After he entered Lincoln's Inn, he made a commercial trip to the continent in 1809, travelling with Byron from Gibraltar to Malta and then visiting Constantinople and Greece, where he reunited with Byron at Athens. The year before the publication of The Bride of Abydos, Galt edited the Political Review and contributed to Stevenson's edition of Cambell's Lives of the Admirals the biographies of Edward Hawke, John "Mad Jack" Byron and George Rodney. That of Byron (the poet's father) was revised by Lord Byron. In 1813, Galt published Letters from the Levant, a work which, like Byron's Bride of Abydos, was influenced by their continental journeys. Galt's life of Byron was published in 1830. Randolph, p.30; Wise Byron I, p.87. A FINE ASSOCIATION COPY.
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