"BETTER TO REIGN IN HELL THAN SERVE IN HEAVEN"
MILTON, John. The Poetical Works. London: C. and J. Rivington et al., 1826. Six volumes. Octavo, contemporary full diced brown calf, elaborately gilt-decorated spines. $1800.
Third edition, illustrated with engraved frontispiece portrait and three plates, handsomely bound.
The Rev. Henry John Todd, a royal chaplain and for two years one of the six preachers at Canterbury Cathedral, "possessed great industry with a retentive memory, and was devoted to literary study throughout his life." His presentation of Milton's poetry first appeared in 1801; incorporating copious annotations from numerous authors, "it became the standard edition" and remained so through several editions, as late as 1852 (DNB). Illustrated with engraved frontispiece portrait of Milton and three plates.
Scattered light foxing, particularly to plates; occasional marginal soiling. Contemporary full calf-gilt bindings fine. A very handsome set.