London: Printed for A. Dod, 1729. First Edition. Full Calf. First Edition thus. 4to: 16,,6,9-29,,118,cxix-cxxiv,pp, with engraved title page showing an ass chewing thistles and laden with books, an owl perched on top (No. 1 of four versions of the image) and head-pieces and woodcut tail-pieces. (Pagination of the "Prolegomena" omits pages 7 and 8, as always, but text is continuous.) Not to be confused with the reissue of the 1729 edition printed by John Wright for A. Dod, with an added leaf at end, headed "Addenda. M. Scriblerus lectori" (ESTC Citation No. T5544; as Foxon cautions: since the reissue differs "only in lacking the leaf of addenda, copies may be easily sophisticated." In our copy, X3 and X4 are conjugate, as are the following two blank leaves.). Contemporary mottled English calf, spine (very skillfully relaid) in six compartments very richly gilt between raised bands; covers, with gilt French fillet, stamped in blind with decorative roll; reddish-brown morocco letter-piece gilt, board edges gilt, leaf edges speckled red. A gorgeous wide-margined copy (Large Paper, according to Lowndes), in a Fine period binding, pages and engravings pristine (excepting end papers and blanks, which are foxed). ESTC T5545. Griffith (Pope) 211 (calling our copy variant a) and p. 162. Foxon P771. Vander Meulen (Engelhard Lecture), p. 5. Wise (Pope Library). Lowndes IV, 1917 ("The author's first avowed edition."). Fine. Item #BB1618
Pope's literary landmark, published in four major versions and in five dozen editions, impressions, and issues between 1728 and 1751, making it something of a bibliographic quagmire. The poem celebrates a goddess, Dulness, and the progress of her agents as they bring decay, imbecility, and tastelessness to the Kingdom of Great Britain. Pope first published The Dunciad in 1728, in three books. The poem was not signed, and he used only initials in the text to refer to the various Dunces in the kingdom of Dulness. However, "keys" immediately came out to identify the persons mentioned in the text, and an Irish pirate edition was printed that filled in the names (sometimes inaccurately). "In the spring of 1729, the 'War of the Dunces' entered a new phase with the publication of the enlarged Dunciad [our copy]. Though the text of the poem was not greatly changed relatively, the size of the book was quadrupled by the edition of a prolegomena, a mass of foot-notes and appendices in which Pope made his attack upon his antagonists more direct and more pungent." (Griffith) In this, the Dunciad Variorum of 1729, Pope called the version of 1728 "surreptitious," claiming that there had been five different forms of that "imperfect" version and baffling bibliographers to this day. N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, with dust jackets carefully preserved in archival, removable polypropylene sleeves. 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.).