“I NEVER MET WITH SO MUCH WIT IN ONE SINGLE BOOK” (VOLTAIRE): LATE 18TH-CENTURY EDITION OF HUDIBRAS, WITH 17 ENGRAVINGS
BUTLER, Samuel. Hudibras, in Three Parts… Corrected and Amended. With Large Annotations, and a Preface, by Zachary Grey…Adorn’d with a new Set of Cuts. London: for C. Bathurst et al., 1772. Two volumes. Octavo, contemporary full polished tan calf, raised bands, red and black morocco spine labels. $800.
Later edition of Butler’s acclaimed mock romance (the third with Grey’s scholarly annotations), illustrated with engraved frontispiece portrait by Vertue and 16 engraved plates (five folding) by Hogarth.
“There is one English Poem, the title whereof is Hudibras; it is Don Quixote; it is our Satyre Menippee blended together: I never met with so much wit in one single book as this” (Voltaire). First published beginning in 1663, Butler’s mock romance satirizes topics ranging from scholastic pedantry and Aristotelian logic to witchcraft, alchemy and astrology. Samuel Johnson used the 1726 edition of Hudibras for quotations in his dictionary. This edition includes the critical notes of Zachary Grey (first published 1744-45), commended as “a performance replete with curious, interesting and accurate historical and bibliographical intelligence” (Allibone, 315). Hogarth’s celebrated engravings first appeared in the 1726 edition. With ornamental woodcut tailpieces. Lowndes, 335. Old pencil owner annotations to endpapers. Small owner inkstamps to title pages.
Scattered light foxing. Expert restoration to spine, joints and corners.