SHELLEY, Percy Bysshe (1792-1822) -- GRAY, Thomas (1716-1771). Poems. London: J. Dodsley, 1768.
8° (180 x 109mm). (Some marginal stains, without blank K2.) Contemporary calf, spine gilt with red morocco lettering-piece (upper cover and front free endpaper [with Shelley's signature] detached, lower joints cracked, endpapers browned), green morocco solander case, red morocco interior (spine faded to brown). Provenance: Percy Bysshe Shelley (front free endpaper inscribed 'Percy: B. Shelley 1810') -- William Keeney Bixby (bookplate) -- Roderick Terry (bookplate), sold American Art Association, New York, 2 May 1934, lot 246 for $375.
SHELLEY'S COPY OF THE FIRST LONDON EDITION OF GRAY'S POEMS, other editions in 1868 being published in Dublin and Glasgow. Medwin claimed that among the 'treasures' given to him by Shelley in 1808 or 1809 was a Latin version of the epitaph in Gray's Elegy, 'probably a school task,' quoted in full in his biography; but he also states that he never heard Shelley mention Gray (see The Life of Percy Bysshe Shelley, ed. H. Buxton Forman, 1913, pp. 36 & 251). Richard Holmes, on the other hand, finds strong echoes of the poet in the opening stanzas of 'A Summer Evening Churchyard, Lechlade, Gloucestershire,' a poem composed after Shelley had wandered alone in the little churchyard during the evening, while on a boating trip down the Thames in September 1815, along with Thomas Peacock, Mary and Charles Clairmont (Shelley: The Pursuit, 1974, p. 293). One can speculate that Shelley is likely to have bought this first edition of Gray's poems after arriving at University College, Oxford, for the Michaelmas term of 1810; the gatehouse of his College was almost directly opposite the bookshop of Slatter and Munday on Oxford High Street. Northup 52; Rothschild 1071; Stokes p. 53.