MILTON, John (1608-1674). Poems of Mr. John Milton, both English and Latin, Compos'd at Several Times. London: Printed by Ruth Raworth for Humphrey Mosely, and are to be sold at the Sign of the Princes Arms in S. Pauls Church-yard, 1645.
Two parts in one volume, 8o (157 x 97 mm). Engraved frontispiece portrait of Milton by William Marshall. (Lacks a1 blank, A1 and B7-8 closely trimmed, H2 with short marginal tear, some tiny wormholes, a few leaves with small nicks to edges.) Contemporary calf, triple blind fillet borders on covers, smooth spine, edges lightly red sprinkled (dry and cracked, old rebacking preserving original spine, other old repairs at edges and corners); watered silk chemise and red crushed levant morocco pull-off case. Provenance: Edward Hull (early ownership signature on front pastedown: "Edward Hull Wainsford").
FIRST COLLECTED EDITION OF MILTON'S POEMS, AND THE FIRST TO BEAR MILTON'S NAME ON THE TITLE-PAGE. This edition reprints "Comus," "Lycidas" and several shorter works and includes for the first time the majority of Milton's verse, including "L'Allegro" and "Il Penseroso." The only poems written by Milton up to that date not included are "On the death of a fair infant dying of a cough" and "At a vacation excercise in the Colledge." The second part collects Milton's verse written in Latin and is headed by a separate title-page. Marshall's portrait, the first Milton ever published of himself, was so unflattering that Milton had him add to it mocking verses in Greek, exposing the engraver's incompetence. The imprint on the main title-page occurs with the variant readings "Pauls Church-yard" and "S. Pauls Church-yard" (as here). There is no evidence to support that these are separate issues, nor that there is any priority to their issue. Pforzheimer notes the prevalence of closely trimmed copies: "Several copies are known in original calf or sheep [his copy was bound in morocco by Riviere] but even the largest is only about a sixteenth of an inch taller than the present [6 inches]." The present copy in original calf is 6th of an inch taller and 1/8th of an inch wider.
Grolier, Wither to Prior 572; Hayward 71; Pforzheimer 722. Wing M2160.