SHELLEY, Percy Bysshe (1792-1822). Adonais. An Elegy on the Death of John Keats. Pisa: 'with the types of Didot', 1821.
4° (209 x 160mm). (Scattered spotting, unobtrusive flaw affecting 2 lines on 2/1, all leaves skilfully remargined at fore-edges). Late 19th-century polished calf gilt by F. Bedford, the covers with gilt triple fillet borders with gilt corner-pieces, roll-tooled gilt dentelles on turn-ins, the spine gilt in 7 compartments, gilt morocco lettering-pieces in 2, the others decorated with gilt fleurons surrounded by gilt tools, gilt edges (spine slightly faded, extremities lightly rubbed, superficial cracking on joints). Provenance: Thomas Gaisford (armorial bookplate); sale 23 April 1890 (cf. De Ricci English Collectors of Books & Manuscripts, p.165, suggesting that this could have been the Greek scholar Gaisford, 1779-1855); bookseller's collation note dated 1 May 1890 on rear free endpaper.
FIRST EDITION, JUDGED BY SHELLEY TO BE 'BEAUTIFULLY PRINTED' (Grolier Shelley p.69). The poem is prefaced by Shelley's scathing attack on the Quarterly Review, whose criticisms of Endymion he held responsible for Keats' death: 'As to ''Endymion''; was it a poem, whatever its defects, to be treated contemptuously by those who had celebrated with various degrees of complacency and panegyric, ''Paris,'' and ''Woman'', and a ''Syrian Tale'', and Mrs. Lefanu, and Mr. Barrett, and Mr. Howard Payne, and a long list of the illustrious obscure?' The present copy was possibly trimmed down to an octavo format to be bound with other pamphlets or publications of a similar size in the years following its publication, and was then 're-discovered' and appreciated as one of Shelley's most celebrated poems in the latter part of the 19th-century, extracted, and remargined to a proportion closer to that of the original leaf. Grolier Shelley 66; Hayward 229; Wise Shelley pp.60-61.