London, South Kensington
7 June 2005
MILTON, John (1608-74). Areopagitica. A Speech ... for the Liberty of Unlicenc'd Printing. Hammersmith: Eragny Press, October 1903. 4° (268 x 204mm). Printed in red and black and in double column, borders and initials by Esther Pissarro after Lucien Pissarro. Original paper boards with label on upper cover printed in colours, uncut (spine darkened). FIRST ERAGNY EDITION. ONE OF 226 COPIES (see note). The only Eragny Press book printed in double column.
Tomkinson p.64: "The first impression of 226 copies on paper was finished in October 1903, but 185 copies were destroyed by a fire at the Binders, Messrs. Leighton, Son & Hodge on 23rd November." Loosely-inserted is a single-sheet "Special Notice" from the Eragny Press stating: "It is with much pleasure that E. & L. Pissarro are able to announce that the collated sheets of forty copies and the sample copy of MILTON'S AREOPAGITICA (small demy 4to) have been saved from the fire which occurred at the binders ..." On the verso is an order form for the reprinted edition of 1904 (see following lot): "As the number of the first printed edition is exceedingly small, the first refusal will be given to those subscribers who ordered copies from the original prospectus."
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