London: W. Clark, 1821. First Edition thus. Paper-Covered Boards. First commercially published edition of Shelley's first lengthy poem, printed without the author's permission by W. Clark with the assistance of Thomas Moses, the infamous book pirate (whose monogram appears in black letter below the imprint on the penultimate leaf). 8vo: [2, title page],3-89[text],[2,fly-title, with publisher's statement on verso],93-182 [notes in French, Latin and Greek], [1, advertisements]pp. Without the very rare poetical dedication to Shelley’s first wife but with the final leaf of publisher’s advertisements, usually absent. Original drab paper-covered boards sympathetically rebacked, later printed paper spine label, fore- and bottom edges uncut. Printed on fine, thick wove paper with countermarks "A" and "1820." Perhaps one of the “elegantly printed” copies referred to by the publisher in some early advertisements (see Forman 23). A splendid example in original boards, text clean, binding tight and secure. Forman 22-23. Granniss 19. Tinker 1888. NCBEL III, 314. Ashley Library V p.150. Hayward 225. Wise, A Shelley Library, p.92. Bibliotheca Bibliographici 3819. First published edition, though unauthorized, preceded by Shelley's privately printed edition of 1813. Fine-. Item #BB1897
Preceded by an edition of some 250 copies privately printed in 1813, but “unknown until [this] piratical reproduction of it in 1821 (which Shelley vainly tried to suppress by injunction) excited attention, and [the poem] obtained a celebrity long denied to his maturer and more truly poetical writings.” (DNB v. 52, p. 33) The dedication to his former wife was particularly embarrassing to Shelley, since his marriage to Harriet ended in 1814, and she committed suicide in 1816. Forman notes regarding this edition that “some copies contain the whole text and notes intact, while others have a few of the most aggressive passages mutilated by omission of words and even verses [mutilations, when present, occur on pp. 36, 54, 55, 65, 77, 82, 146-48, and 171, with various assertions in the notes replaced by printed sequences of dashes]. Ours is the expurgated text. Queen Mab's literary text consists of nine cantos and seventeen notes. Six of these notes comprise extended prose meditations on free love, on how Necessity functions in the spiritual and physical universe, on atheism (which reiterates Shelley's views in The Necessity of Atheism), on the relationship between Christ and the dogma of Christianity, and on vegetarianism." (Literary Encyclopedia) N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, with dust jackets carefully preserved in archival, removable mylar 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.).