London: printed for J. and R. Tonson and S. Draper in the Strand, MDCCXLIX . Early Edition. Full Calf. First Newton Edition, complete in two volumes, the first definitive edition of Milton's magnum opus (see below), an epic running nearly 11,000 lines. Medium 4to (295 x 230mm): ,lxi,,16,,459,; 444,pp (including dedication to Earl of Bath with coat of arms and decorated initial, preface, Newton's Life of Milton, Samuel Barrow's tribute, Andrew Marvel's 'On Paradise Lost,' critique, and list of subscribers), with frontispiece portraits of Milton by George Vertue in each volume, Milton at 21 and Vertue's rendition of Faithorne's with Greek verses beneath, and twelve full-page copperplate engravings, one at head of each book, by Francis Hayman (1708-1776). Period speckled calf, spines (relaid) in six compartments between raised bands, red morocco lettering pieces gilt, gilt volume numbers stamped in third compartments, marbled end papers. From the library of bibliophile and connoisseur Joseph Gulston (1745-1786), with his engraved armorial book plate, signed and dated 1760. A superb, wide-margined copy, printed on heavy stock, with fine impressions of the plates, tightly bound and generally clean and bright throughout (usual offsetting from plates and light intermittent foxing). Shawcross 1749.3. Turnbull Library 110. Lenox Library (Milton) 32. Lowndes III, p. 1559. Fine. Item #BB1464
Eighty-two years after Samuel Simmons published the first edition of Paradise Lost, Thomas Newton completed this definitive edition, with a life of Milton and elaborate notes. The text arose directly from the controversy surrounding Richard Bentley's bastardized edition of 1732, which attempted to regularize the text, making the poem more Augustan and "correct." Newton used the last authoritative edition, published at the time of Milton's death, as his copy-text and carefully collated that text with the first edition of 1667. He also referred to all other major editions published prior to 1749 to verify the text and correct errors. His notes synthesized the work of many scholars and became the standard for scholarly editions for nearly 150 years. To accompany the newly refined text, Jacob Tonson contracted with Francis Hayman to design 12 illustrations, which were engraved by Charles Grignion (1716-1810) and Simon François Ravenet (1706-1774). Hayman's designs broke from baroque iconographic conventions, turning Satan from a horned demon into an imposing, heroic figure, and became the touchstone for illustrated editions of Paradise Lost well into the nineteenth century. The early owner of this set, Joseph Gulston, amassed an unrivaled collection of rare prints, boasting 18,000 foreign and 23,500 English portraits, 11,000 English caricatures and political prints, and 14,500 topographical views. (ODNB) 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.).