“A NAME SECOND ONLY TO THOSE OF MILTON AND SHAKESPEARE”: DRYDEN’S PROSE WORKS, TOGETHER WITH THE POETICAL WORKS, EIGHT VOLUMES HANDSOMELY BOUND
DRYDEN, John. The Critical and Miscellaneous Prose Works… Now First Collected… with an Account of the Life and Writings of the Author… and a Collection of His Letters by Edmond Malone. WITH: DRYDEN, John. Poetical Works… Containing Original Poems, Tales, and Translations, with Notes by the Late Rev. Joseph Warton. London: T. Cadell, Jun. and W. Davies; F.C. and J. Rivington, et al., 1800; 1811. Eight volumes. Octavo, late 19th-century full brown speckled calf, raised bands, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, green morocco spine labels, marbled endpapers. $2400.
First critical Malone edition of Dryden’s prose works, with engraved frontispiece portraits, and containing Malone’s famous biography of Dryden, together with Warton’s edition of the verse, also with engraved frontispiece portrait, handsomely bound.
Edmond Malone’s edition of Dryden’s prose works contains his famous biography of Dryden, upon which Sir Walter Scott relied in his own Dramatic Works of John Dryden. Considered Dryden’s first “editor,” Malone was “the first historian of early English drama, the biographer of Shakespeare, Dryden and Reynolds, and a relentless exposer of literary fraud and forgery. His dedication to discovering the facts of literary history through manuscripts and early editions laid the foundations for the scholar’s code and the modern study of literature” (Peter Martin). Joseph Warton began preparing his critical edition of Dryden’s verse in 1800 but did not live to complete it; his younger son John finished the task. “Dryden is one of the most significant figures in the history of English verse; for he perhaps more than any other single person formulated a method for poetry that has appealed to disciples… as different as Pope, Gray, Churchill, Byron, Keats and T.S. Eliot… [Dryden’s method] is, in short, the poetry of eloquence” (Baugh et al., 722). Booklabel of renowned bibliophile Abel E. Berland.
A few stray spots of foxing, minor rubbing to outer hinges of bindings. A handsome set.