London: Printed for Obadiah Blagrave at the Sign of the Bear in St. Paul s Church-Yard, near the Little North Door, 1677. First Edition. Full Calf. Best edition of Cleveland's works, "Purged from the many false & spurious ones which had usurped his name, and from innumerable errours and corruptions in the true copies." Foolscap 8vo (165 x 100mm): ,239,,[20,catalogue of Blagrave books]pp (including second blank [A1], often missing), with engraved frontispiece portrait of the poet. (Vertue attributed the unsigned portrait to Robert White, and Wither to Prior avers, it "is doubtless the work of his hands"). Contemporary Cambridge-style speckled calf, recent spine in five compartments between gilt-ruled raised bands, green morocco lettering piece gilt, engraved armorial book plate of George Wilbraham to front paste down (either George Wilbraham [1779-1852], of Delamere, Cheshire, elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1821 and MP for Stockbridge, in 1826, or his father [1741-1813]). A handsome example in original boards, careful repair to hinges. binding tight, toning to page margins, but generally clean and free of foxing. Scarce, especially so with the portrait. Morris 27. Wither to Prior 181. Palmer, p. 124. Wing C4670. Near Fine+. Item #BB1670
Morris distinguishes three issues of Clievelandi vindiciae, all from the same setting of type and all identical apart from the title page, which in all cases is a cancel: the Brooke issue is presumed to take priority, given that the engraved portrait bears his imprint. This "vindicatory" compilation was prepared by Cleveland's former students John Lake and Samuel Drake from the author's manuscripts in order to restore true readings to poems that had degenerated, according to Quaritch, "through six editions of The Character of a London-Diurnall (1647), seventeen successive editions of Poems (1651-69), and, worst of all, Cleaveland revived (1659-67), where only two of thirty-seven poems in the first printing were genuine." The text is divided into three parts: love poems, poems on state affairs, and miscellanies. Many of Cleveland's love poems are thought to have been written while he was still at university, but it is for his political satires that he is chiefly remembered (Cleveland was a loyalist during the English Civil War). N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).