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Fine Editions Ltd

Fine Editions Ltd
Item #BB1482 Trivia: or the Art of Walking the Streets of London [Large-Paper Copy]. John GAY.
Trivia: or the Art of Walking the Streets of London [Large-Paper Copy]
Trivia: or the Art of Walking the Streets of London [Large-Paper Copy]

Trivia: or the Art of Walking the Streets of London [Large-Paper Copy]

London: printed for Bernard Lintott, at the Cross-Keys between the Temple-Gates in Fleetstreet, [1716]. First Edition. Morocco. First Issue, large-paper copy (engraved headpiece on p. 1 depicts a street scene, not a phoenix, with elaborate engraved ornaments, not printer's ornaments, on pp. 21 and 53) of John Gay's Gay's best remembered poem and perhaps the greatest poem written on life in London. 8vo: [4],80,[12]pp. Full maroon morocco by Riviere, spine in six compartments divided by raised bands and lettered in gilt, renewed marbled end papers, plain paper fly leaves, all edges gilt. Lintott printed 2000 ordinary copies and a further 250 on fine paper, of which our copy is one. A Dublin edition and three other London editions appeared the same year. Fine. Hayward 142. Foxon G82 (fine-paper). Ashley II, p. 135. Rothschild 914 (the statement in Haywood, that "there are two leaves, G7 and G8, blank and genuine, is incorrect"). Bowyer Ledgers 281. Faber, p. 57. Dearing (ed), John Gay. Poetry and Prose 546. Fine. Item #BB1482

Trivia (after the goddess of streets, not the modern meaning, of trifles or unimportant matters) takes Virgil's Georgics as an ironic model for a mock account of outdoor life in London to satirise the noise, stench and danger of contemporary life on its streets. "Though there had been imitations of Virgil's didactics, there had been nothing of the scope, nor any that had hit upon the real idea, of Trivia: to imitate in mock, not just one or another of Virgil's prescriptions, but the entire work." (Dearing). "Gay's satiric thrust is aimed both at idle aristocratic Londoners of the day, at one extreme of the class system, and at loud and aggressive labourers at the other. The playful irony that runs through the poem is intended to appeal to educated readers, who would appreciate the poet's witty allusions to the classics. Gay treats London's streets as a mock parallel to Virgil's farm in the Mantuan countryside, contrasting the contemporary foot-traveller in London, struggling against his surroundings, with Virgil's rural farmer in full accord with his." (Literary Encyclopedia) 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.

Price: $2,865.00

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