MARY SHELLEY’S IMPORTANT 1839 EDITION OF SHELLEY’S POETICAL WORKS, IN SCARCE ORIGINAL CLOTH
SHELLEY, Percy Bysshe. The Poetical Works. Edited by Mrs. Shelley. London: Edward Moxon, 1839. Four volumes. 12mo, original blind- and gilt-stamped red cloth, uncut and partially unopened. $3000.
First edition of Mary Shelley’s important edition of her husband’s poetical works, in scarce original cloth.
After Percy Shelley's death in 1822, Mary Shelley devoted herself to writing his biography and publishing his manuscripts. She first attempted to publish Shelley's poems in 1824, but his father, Sir Timothy Shelley, prevented further publication of Shelley's writings for 15 years. "In 1839, the obstacles to an authentic edition having been removed… Mrs. Shelley published what was then supposed to be a definitive edition in four volumes, enriched with biographical notes and some very beautiful lyrics which had remained in manuscript" (DNB). With engraved frontispiece portrait of Shelley by Finden in Volume I. With publisher's advertisements in Volumes II and IV. Lowndes, 2374. Contemporary owner signature of Charles Williams Wynn, Jr., the 19th-century Welsh politician. His father was a close friend and patron of Robert Southey, who dedicated Madoc to him.
Interior generally fine, original cloth with mild toning to spines. A lovely copy in near-fine condition.