“THE CURFEW TOLLS THE KNELL OF PARTING DAY…”: GRAY’S WORKS, HANDSOMELY BOUND
GRAY, Thomas. Works. London: William Pickering, 1835-53. Five volumes. 12mo (4 by 6-1/2 inches), contemporary full gilt-paneled black morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $1400.
Handsomely bound mixed 19th-century edition of Thomas Gray’s essays, letters and verse, including “the greatest of Gray’s poems—possibly the greatest of his century”—Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.
“Among the most learned of English poets… [Gray] typifies the transitional poet who loved tradition yet courted novelty. He excelled his contemporaries in meticulous workmanship and in ability to use new materials… with dramatic imaginative power. He sought sublime moods… and elevated even primitive materials to noble Roman or heroic levels… The greatest of Gray’s poems—possibly the greatest of his century—is his Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard… Among poems embodying the noble ideal of ‘what oft was thought but ne’er so well expressed,’ this Elegy must always rank high” (Baugh et al., 1012-13). With frontispiece portrait in Volume I. First editions of Volumes II-V. Lowndes, 932. Armorial bookplates.
A fine set, handsomely bound.