MARY SHELLEY’S IMPORTANT 1839 EDITION OF SHELLEY’S POETICAL WORKS, HANDSOMELY BOUND
SHELLEY, Percy Bysshe. The Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Edited by Mrs. Shelley. London: Edward Moxon, 1839. Four volumes. 12mo, early 20th-century full red morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Housed together in a custom ckemise and clamshell box. $4200.
First edition of Mary Shelley’s important edition of her husband’s poetical works, with engraved frontispiece portrait of the poet by Finden, finely bound in full morocco-gilt by Bayntun.
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). Lowndes, 2374.
Interiors clean, a touch of rubbing to corners and joints, bindings sound and quite handsome, near-fine. A lovely set.