“A GREAT DEAL OF POLITICS AND PIETY”
(STEELE, Richard, et al.). The Guardian… Carefully Revised and Corrected. London: C. Whittingham and John Sharpe, 1804 . Two volumes. 12mo, mid-20th century three-quarter green morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled boards, top edges gilt, uncut and partly unopened. $600.
Later edition of one of the leading series of 18th-century British periodical essays, handsomely bound by Lauriat.
"The periodical essay… reached its acme of achievement early in the 18th century in the work of Richard Steele and Joseph Addison… If The Spectator had not existed, The Guardian [which Steele began publishing in March 1713, shortly after The Spectator ceased publication] might outrank all periodicals of this kind… There was a great deal of politics and of piety in The Guardian… [Alexander] Pope wrote at least eight papers for Steele, of which No. 78 ('A Receit to Make an Epick Poem') and No. 173 ('On Gardens') are notable" (Baugh et al., 870, 879-80). The Guardian's abruptly ended in October 1713, a casualty of partisan political fighting (Steele was a fervent Whig and opponent of the Treaty of Utrecht); even so, together with its more celebrated sister publications, The Spectator and The Tatler, it "helped to form the taste and to shape the morals and manners of countless generations in Britain and abroad" (John Calhoun Stephens). Each volume with engraved frontispiece and engraved title page; illustrated with six other engraved plates. The first collected edition appeared in December 1713. This edition constituted Volumes 13 and 14 of the publisher's "British Classics" series. Although the engraved title pages are dated 1804, the half titles are dated 1814.
Occasional light foxing. Spines uniformly toned to brown. A near-fine copy, handsomely bound.